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November/December 2011

KHIE establishes Certificate of Authority process


The Kansas Health Information Exchange (KHIE) recently established a process that will allow organizations that wish to provide health information exchange services in Kansas to be designated as an approved health information exchange organization. KHIE is the State's regulatory body charged with overseeing health information exchanges in Kansas.

The process will require organizations that are interested in providing health information exchange services to complete an application within a designated timeframe; KHIN is working on our application and expects it will be submitted shortly.

According to the new policy a temporary Certificate of Authority will be granted to those organizations that meet the requirements. That certificate will then transfer to a full Certificate of Authority for a period of time not to exceed five years. The approved organizations will be required to provide updated information including financial, technical, privacy and security information to KHIE on an annual basis.

Designation as an approved health information exchange organization is necessary to conduct business as an HIE in Kansas; it also allows health care organizations that are participants in the exchange to experience the following benefits:

  • Immunity in the event of a breach of data associated with the health information exchange, although all HIPAA requirements must still be followed.
  • Ability for patients to participate in the exchange after receiving notice that the health care organization is participating in an approved health information exchange. Patients will still have the ability to opt-out of the exchange through a KHIE sponsored process.

For more information about this process please contact Bill Wallace at KHIE.

From the Executive Director

McCrary_Laura_webLaura McCrary Ed.D

The KHIN staff would like to wish all of you a happy holiday season and best wishes for the new year. During 2011 significant progress has been made in Kansas toward the development of statewide health information exchange. I am pleased to share that this month KHIN celebrates its first birthday with a noteworthy accomplishment—1000 providers are now signed up for KHIN secure clinical messaging. While we still have much work to accomplish it is gratifying to see that so many physicians, hospitals and other eligible providers value the opportunity to securely, and electronically, share important patient information with other providers.

Wichita: We continue to see significant progress in the Sedgwick county community. Recently, the Sedgwick County Health Department completed their KHIN participation agreement. The two community hospitals, Via Christi and Wesley, are actively testing data and all of the providers affilated with the Newton Medical Center have been set-up for KHIN secure clinical messaging. It's expected that Newton will begin data testing very soon.

Kansas City: In Kansas City, we have established an ongoing dialogue with the area's Chief Medical Information Officers and the other health information exchange operating in the community, the Lewis & Clark Information Exchange (LACIE). We also continue to discuss a number of different subjects with KU Hospital and its affiliated programs.

happy_holidays_blue_bulbs_holiday_greeting_card-d1371966550822885507g1i_325Rural Health Information Network: A number of different organizations in the rural areas have taken steps toward participating in KHIN. The Hutchinson Clinic is currently preparing for the secure clinical messaging testing phase, the Ashland Health Center has signed its participation agreement and the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas has received its contract from the vendor for the interface. KHIN and our partners have also hosted a regional meeting with hospitals and physicians in southeast Kansas

Secure clinical messaging: Our secure clinical messaging service now has more than 1000 users, each of whom are listed in our ever-expanding Provider Directory created for SCM users. Staff have also developed a training video to introduce the SCM concept; it is available online at the KHIN website, by request.

Statewide level: Statewide, we continue to search out opportunities to share the KHIN story. In the past few months,  KHIN staff attended the Kansas Hospital Association's annual meeting in Wichita. We also convened a group of Wichita physicians to discuss how quality metrics can be utilized within our HIE; representatives from the Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative also participated in the discussion. 

We are pleased to report, too, that the interface between KHIN and WebIZ is complete. Beginning in January 2012, ICA developers will begin to work with WebIZ to build the capacity to query the immunization registry as the second phase of the project.

If you would like more information, please contact Laura McCrary Ed.D at

KHIN celebrates membership milestone


This month KHIN celebrates having more than 1000 Kansas providers as members of the Kansas Health Information Network. This is wonderful news and significantly exceeds the KHIN team's goal of 400 providers by the end of the 2011. To meet and surpass this goal is a strong sign that hospitals, physicians and other eligible providers value the opportunity to securely share clinical information with other providers and meet their meaningful use requirement of securely sharing information with an unaffiliated provider.

Michelle McGuire, KHIN project manager notes, "Most physicians, optometrists and other eligible providers view KHIN's secure clinical messaging as the first step in participating in full statewide health information exchange. Participating providers view a seven-minute training video or attend an online webinar to learn how to use the software. It is internet based so there is no software to download. Providers choose a password and can begin sharing information immediately with other participating providers."

A new provider directory makes it easy to find other participating providers and an email message in a provider's preferred email system notifies them to check the KHIN site for a secure message from another provider. New providers are being added each day so it is important to regularly download the latest directory. If in doubt it is easy to type the providers' name into the exchange and see if they are members.

Fees to participate in secure clinical messaging are $100 per year per eligible provider. This allows providers to securely send clinical information and view the data in the exchange. When providers begin adding clinical data to the full exchange the annual fee increases to $125 per year per eligible provider. For Kansas providers who are insured through KaMMCO the fee is waived for the first year.

For more information or to download the one page contract visit KHIN's website.

KHIE names Bill Wallace CEO


Bill Wallace, formerly chief information officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas is the new chief executive officer of Kansas Health Information Exchange, Inc.

Before retiring in 2009, Wallace worked at Blue Cross for 38 years. There he helped develop a secure network for the exchange of health-related data between providers and the state's largest health insurance company. That system had to comply with similar patient security and privacy regulations that KHIE, Inc. is currently developing and implementing, he said.

Wallace also represented Blue Cross in 2005 on the Health Information Exchange Commission steering committee, which ultimately chartered KHIE, Inc. Before that he served on the Health Care Cost Containment Commission formed by then Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2004.

More recently, he worked with Kansas' Regional Extension Center for health information technology and exchange to form its short list of recommended vendors of electronic health record systems.

Wallace works out of an office at the Kansas Health Institute until KHIE, Inc. has established its own office space.

    KHIN's 1000th provider: Mindi Garner, DO

    Garner_MindiKHIN is pleased to celebrate Mindi Garner, DO as KHIN's 1000th provider. Dr. Garner, a board certified internist, has been using Centricity software as her electronic health record for 8 years and she has already met all of the Stage 1 Meaningful Use measures.

    Dr. Garner has been practicing in Pittsburg, KS since 2003 with the first and only completely paperless electronic medical record office in the area. In November 2007 Dr. Garner also opened a satellite clinic in Girard, KS.

    Dr. Garner noted "I joined KHIN to be able to expand the benefit of having an EHR and share data with other providers. It will be easier for other providers to get patient data as an electronic message rather than a fax. It will also eliminate repeat testing. If a patient had a test done earlier and I can get the results to another provider quickly it will result in less duplication of testing. It will require some work flow changes in the office but it will be worth the effort to send patient data electronically."

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