NC HealthConnexThe North Carolina General Assembly made adjustments to the Health Information Exchange Act in its state budget based on input from the NC Health Information Exchange Authority or NC HealthConnex, the NC Department of Health and Human Services and stakeholder groups like the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) whose members are impacted by the law.
Changes to the HIE Act include:

  • Providers of Medicaid and state-funded services shall connect by June 1, 2019. This is an extension from the original connection deadline of Feb. 1, 2018.
  • Allows for limited extensions of time for providers to establish connectivity to the HIE network if such providers can “demonstrate ongoing good faith effort to take necessary steps to establish such connectivity.”
  • For providers seeking medical information on patients with emergency medical conditions, the new law repeals their authority to “break the glass” and view HIE data for patients who had opted out of the HIE. When a patient opts out of the HIE, their data is still sent to the HIE, but is blocked from being shared with any of the HIE’s authorized users even in situations where generally HIPAA permits sharing without specific authorization (e.g., treatment, payment and health care operations).
  • Provides funding in the amount of $3 million non-recurring funds (one year) to upgrade the existing HIE environment and $9 million annual recurring funds (two years) for staffing, operations, analytics environment deliverables, and technical integrations.

Read about all the legislative changes as well as other NC HealthConnex updates.