There were 196 health information exchange “initiatives” responding to the 2011 version of survey, and just 24—that’s 12%—reported they were financially self-sustaining, according to a news release about the report, “Health Information Exchange: Sustainable HIE in a Changing Landscape,” which the eHealth Initiative is selling for $250.
The good news is, according to the group, there were just 18 HIEs on last year’s survey that reported they were self-sustaining. According to the news release, this year, as was the case last year, “developing a long-term business model for future growth and sustainability proves to be the most difficult challenge for health information exchanges.”
“The key challenges facing most groups are not technical, but rather business issues,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, eHI CEO, in the statement. “Most struggle to find a revenue model that keeps them in business. So, it is important to understand how this group of 24 found success while others are struggling.”
Fifteen of the 24 self-sustaining HIS reported using “a combination of different revenue models,” the most coming being assessing participants with membership fees.
The most common revenue model for these self-sustaining HIEs is to assess membership fees on participating stakeholders. Ten initiatives include membership fees as part of or the entirety of their revenue stream. A majority of the 24 offer “value-added services, such as advanced analytics, quality reporting and clinical decision support,” the statement said.
And there is a growing trend toward exchanges being developed and led by healthcare organizations. “Fewer organizations are emerging whose sole purpose is exchange,” Covich Bordenick said. “Instead we see all types of hospitals, health systems, pharmacies and care delivery organizations developing exchange capabilities in-house as a normal way of doing business.”