Amendments to 2008 RI Health Information Exchange Act Regulations

Published 12/01/2017

Letter in Support of Amendments to the 2008 RI Health Information Exchange Act Regulations

November 24, 2017

Ms. Paula Pullano
Rhode Island Department of Health
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097

Dear Ms. Pullano,

This letter is to express the strong support of the Rhode Island Business Group on Health representing over 80,000 employees, for the proposed amendments to the 2008 Rhode Island Health Information Exchange Act regulations (216-RICR-10-10-6).  We believe the proposed amendments are essential to more fully realize the value of our Statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE).

We understand that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), has reported that Rhode Island is the only state in the nation in which clinical data is prevented from flowing into the HIE unless there is consent from the patient for that data to be accessed.  This means that frequently there is a substantial time lag for clinical information to accumulate in the patient’s HIE record.

We further understand other states are using their HIEs for such things as permissible and legally-required public health reporting; preparedness for pandemics and natural disasters; and improving population health.  Statewide HIEs across the nation impart efficiency and effectiveness in service of these public health imperatives.

We urge the Rhode Island Department of Health to enact these proposed regulations.  They will have an immediate and tangible positive impact for patients and providers and greatly enhance the HIE’s ability to support critical public health priorities and goals.  It will bring Rhode Island up to the level of the other states in the nation in terms of levering investments in statewide HIE for public good.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to offer this public comment in support of the proposed regulations.

Albert D. Charbonneau
Executive Director