Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Merger of Leading Health Industry Non-Profits Readies Massachusetts for a Person-Centered Health Data Economy

On April 1, the New England Health Exchange Network (NEHEN) and the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium (MHDC) merged their organizations. The combined organization, retaining MHDC’s name, will provide the health data community – clinicians, health care facilities, health plans, government, and consumers – with a range of community-governed data collaborations and services. These collaborations and services prepare MHDC’s members to succeed in an interoperable future by providing the standards, tools, and insights that reduce unnecessary investment in redundant technologies and enable MHDC members to meet and exceed Federal and State regulations.

With its members, MHDC is developing a modern specification for API-based exchange of standardized clinical and administrative data, a prototype of automated prior authorization built on open industry standards, and a cloud-based service to enable providers and plans to translate the codes they use today to the codes that Federal regulations and standardized exchange will require of them. These services combined with NEHEN’s transactional expertise and MHDC’s educational and professional development offerings enable member organizations and the community to build and use a person-centered health data system together.

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“Our goal over the last three years was to redefine MHDC,” said Julie Berry, the former Chairwoman of MHDC and Vice President, Information Technology Infrastructure Services at MaineHealth. “We enhanced our Membership offerings by directing our efforts to meet the anticipated demand for data-sharing and the increasing reliance on data to achieve competitive advantage.

For David Querusio, the Chief Technology Officer for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, former Chairman of NEHEN, and the Chairman of the newly constituted MHDC, the merger marks an inflection point in the health industry. “This combination better positions MHDC for the future. It better aligns our services to the needs of our member organizations and enables MHDC to take advantage of the emerging FHIR-based API ecosystem.”

For David Delano, the former Executive Director of NEHEN and now Senior Director of Services for MHDC, “the merger of MHDC and NEHEN represents a logical evolution. MHDC can deliver a complete and streamlined approach to help our members navigate the complex integration and data-sharing opportunities before us.”

“Our focus, as a consortium, is to prepare healthcare stakeholders for what an information-sharing economy will require of them,” said Denny Brennan, MHDC’s Executive Director. “The emerging health data economy is anchored by the consumer who will have access to all of their health data and the tools to make the best health decisions with those data. MHDC is proud to support this work.”

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