Medicare would save $63M annually with HIEs, study finds

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

Health information exchanges deter clinicians from repeating previous therapeutic medical procedures, according to new research in SSRN.

The study — conducted by researchers from SUNY Buffalo (N.Y.), the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution and the Storrs-based University of Connecticut — analyzed data from CMS and a regional HIE. The researchers' goal was to predict whether HIE use discouraged providers from performing diagnostic or therapeutic medical procedures that had already been conducted.

The researchers found a healthcare practice's use of an HIE lowered its rate of repetition for therapeutic medical procedures. They estimated Medicare would have saved $63 million each year had all physicians used an HIE to reduce these repeated procedures, according to a Brookings Institution blog post on the study.

The HIE, however, did not affect the rate of repeated diagnostic procedures. "The results will inform healthcare policy makers and provide insights on the business models of HIE platforms," the study authors concluded.

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