Arkansas officials announced a partnership with technology vendor OptumInsight, healthcare consultancy Oleen Pinnacle and health information technology extension center HITArkansas to develop the state's health information exchange.
Ark. teams with OptumInsight for info exchange
The one-year contract for the project is valued at $3.2 million and may be extended up to six years, said Shawna Edwards, spokeswoman for the Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology, which awarded the contract on behalf of the State Health Alliance for Records Exchange.
The Arkansas exchange was launched under a $7.9 million grant from HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The first phase of the project will involve implementation of point-to-point secure messaging. Project coordinators will use protocols developed through the federal Direct Project information-sharing initiative as "an adjunct" to OptumInsight technology that will "facilitate and expand the secure, electronic movement and use of health information between unaffiliated healthcare providers," according to a SHARE news release.
The second phase will "evolve into a more robust health information exchange," the statement said.
HITArkansas is a division of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, a not-for-profit quality improvement organization founded in 1972. Both it and Oleen Pinnacle are based in Little Rock. OptumInsight, formerly Ingenix, is the technology unit of Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group, the Minneapolis-based parent company of health plan UnitedHealthcare.
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