A national organization of regional healthcare improvement collaboratives and a national trade association representing health information exchanges have joined forces to improve patient care and promote population health while reducing costs.

The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative say they are forming the strategic partnership to broaden the reach and impact of their respective organizations.

Together, NRHI’s more than 30 RHICs and state-affiliated partner organizations and SHIEC’s more than 50 HIEs cover nearly 75 percent of the U.S. population and operate in 44 states.

NRHI is “focused on population health and whose RHICs are trusted conveners in their communities working on health issues, whereas SHIEC’s HIE member organizations have been focused on the movement of data and exchange of clinical information,” says Dan Porreca, chair of the SHIEC board and executive director of HEALTHeLINK, the Buffalo, N.Y.-based HIE.

Daniel Porreca

Also See: HIEs form national association to speak with one voice

Initially, NRHI and SHIEC will look to advance policies that support regional data sharing, identify regional partnership opportunities, as well as share best practices across members of both organizations. However, Porreca sees the potential for the teaming to ultimately enable them to share claims, clinical and social determinants of health data, with an eye towards supporting value-based payment.

“While NRHI has been focused more on using claims data in their efforts and we’ve been more focused on clinical data, there seems to be some good synergies and opportunities for us to learn from each other,” he adds, noting that there are some members of SHIEC who are also members of NRHI.

“As a member of both organizations, I see this partnership as a natural marriage of the core missions of RHICs and HIEs—improving care and providing the underlying data infrastructure to support that work,” said Marc Bennett, NRHI’s board chair and president and CEO of HealthInsight. “RHICs and HIEs each perform overlapping and interconnected functions, but by bringing together our strengths, we can each help amplify the work of the other, and deliver greater value by working hand-in-hand within the communities we serve.”

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