HealtheConnections, HealthlinkNY make plans to combine

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Two large healthcare information organizations in New York are merging, with the intent of facilitating the exchange of 5 million patients’ medical records.

HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY have announced they will merge to form HealtheConnections, terming the new entity a health improvement organization.

The new entity will operate a Health Information Exchange that spans 26 counties in the Central New York, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley regions. It will serve 8,700 participating providers at 2,800 locations.

Executives say HealtheConnections will play a leading role in health improvement because HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY are the only New York State HIE Qualified Entities that support the Department of Health’s Population Health Improvement agenda through regional collaborative efforts.

The merger follows a strategic partnership announced last September; the HIEs soon agreed that a merger would be the best choice to accelerate their goal of delivering improved resources to their regions.

“Our goal for a strategic partnership was to deliver enhanced services and combined synergies that would benefit our stakeholders,” says Staci Romeo, executive director of HealthlinkNY. “We partnered with HealtheConnections because they have a proven record of success, and their quality of services and processes directly align with our mission. As a combined entity, there will be operational efficiencies and increased value for our participants, stakeholders and partners as a single trusted resource.”

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HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY are proceeding with operational and legal integrations that will provide health information exchange (HIE), population health improvement and value-based care solutions to their service areas.

Rob Hack, president and CEO of HealtheConnections, envisions increased need for trusted, collaborative services, support and innovative approaches as healthcare continues to change. “As the landscape continues to shift with increased quality and cost collaboration between providers, health insurers, and patients, there’s increased need for interoperable, data-driven, value-based solutions.”

HealtheConnections and HealthlinkNY are accredited entities operating and connecting their regional HIEs with others in New York State that together form the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY). The merger is fully supported by the New York State Department of Health and aligns with the strategic goals of efficiency and affordability outlined in the SHIN-NY roadmap.

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