The Health Information Partnership for Tennessee, the state's federally funded, statewide health information exchange organization, has started "winding down" its operations, a state official confirmed.
Instead of running a statewide exchange, Tennessee will focus its efforts on promoting the use of the federally developed Direct exchange protocol for peer-to-peer messaging, according to Will Rice, executive director of the Office of eHealth Initiatives, the state agency that coordinated the formation of the not-for-profit HIP TN in 2009.
The new state aim, Rice said, is to ensure that Tennessee providers meet expected information-exchange goals of the Stage 2 meaningful-use criteria of the electronic health-record incentive payment program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"I think sustainability for HIE services has always been an Achilles' heel for those organizations," said Rice, adding that the HIP TN board approved the closure, feeling statewide exchange "was ahead of the game and somewhat premature."
"With a shift in strategy to meet the demands of meaningful use, while the state is not abandoning its effort of statewide HIE capacity, that's a longer-term horizon than what's needed to meet meaningful use," Rice said.