From today’s press release from MAeHC:
The Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC) announces the extension of their electronic health record (EHR) pilot program. Thanks to efficient project management, funds remain from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts grant originally intended to finance the pilot through June 2008. Using the surplus, MAeHC is offering the participating medical practices the option to continue with certain aspects of the pilot until the end of the year, most notably participation in the health information exchange (HIE).
Kudos to Micky Tripathi and his team for implementation across three diverse communities, and for managing another 6 months out of the budget.
The question remains: what happens when six months are up? Not-for profit HIEs across the country have closed down due to hiccups in funding (see discussion of failures of RHIOs towards end of linked post), and a new financing model has yet to take hold. MAeHC is hedging its bets by seeking commercial contracts to consult on EHR implementation projects (e.g. at BIDMC). The federales have contracted with a number of firms to pilot HIEs nationwide (NHIN project described here and in linked item.)
Sounds interesting, but where is the sustainable business model?