CDC awards three contracts for NHIN development

Nancy Ferris writes in Government Health IT:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded three contacts for health information exchanges to develop data-sharing operations, with an emphasis on delivering data to public health authorities.

The contract awards, totaling $38 million, were made in conjunction with the program led by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT to attain trial implementations of the Nationwide Health Information Network.

Although CDC’s announcement said the awards were going to health information exchanges or regional health information organizations, the recipients are one profit-making company, one nonprofit and one medical school. A CDC spokesman said he had no information late today on where the RHIOs are located.

One location – Indiana – is well-known. The Indiana University School of Medicine received up to $10 million over five years for further development of the work being done by the Regenstrief Institute, the Marion County Health Department and the state health department on detecting disease outbreaks by monitoring the flow of data through the Indiana Health Information Exchange.

“This work represents an opportunity to improve the health of our community and disseminate best practices to the nation,” said Dr. Sean Grannis, a Regenstrief Institute informatician and an assistant professor of family medicine at the IU School of Medicine. Grannis already was leading a project to integrate health data from more than 110 Indiana hospitals for use in disease surveillance.

At the for-profit company, Science Applications International Corp., spokeswoman Laura Luke said CDC had not authorized SAIC to release information about the work. SAIC will receive up to $8 million over five years, CDC’s announcement said.

The third recipient, Health Research Inc., is a New York nonprofit that works closely with the state health department. Although no one answered the telephone there late today, Health Research Inc. carried on its Web site an announcement recruiting applicants for a health information exchange manager.


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