HTP Co-founder and Leading Software Architect for Utah RHIO Shares Recipe for Creating Successful RHIOs and HIEs

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First rule: create a compelling value proposition for stakeholders.

Following the closure of the Santa Barbara Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), many in the healthcare industry are questioning the viability of RHIOs and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs).

"It's important not to allow the failure of a single RHIO to halt progress on healthcare information exchange initiatives that hold the key to improving quality of care while reducing the costs of care," said HTP Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Fred Richards, who designed the information architecture and software for the financially solvent Utah Health Information Network. He recently shared tips for success drawn from his experience with UHIN and other successful emerging RHIOs.

"The most important thing is to create a value proposition that participating physicians, hospitals health plans, insurance companies and government health plans are willing to pay for," Richards said. "RHIOs that invest in technology before developing a plan to generate ongoing revenue from stakeholders risk running out of funds before the technology is fully implemented."

Richards recently presented an audio Webcast on "Building the Business Case for RHIOs" in conjunction with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). He has also authored a white paper, "Mission RHIO: A Blueprint for Successfully Developing, Financing and Sustaining a Regional Health Information Organization," which was published in 2006. The white paper and a recording of the presentation are available for download on the HTP Web site, http://www.htp-inc.com.

Tips for Creating Financially Sustainable RHIOs:

1.Organize the RHIO to provide services that stakeholders are willing to pay for, clearly demonstrate a return that exceeds the risks, and establish a community-wide consensus on the RHIO's mission and operating standards.

2.Ensure participation of all stakeholders – large and small – by creating a pricing model that benefits all parties, supported by an open technology infrastructure.

3.Establish a full-time, impartial governing body that sets standards, coordinates interaction between members and enforces rules of conduct.

4.Collaborate with an experienced information technology partner to develop a standardized architecture to securely collect and exchange healthcare information that supports patient care.

5.Start with pilot projects, and build upon lessons learned using feedback from participants.

A recent report on "States’ Role in Health Information Exchanges" by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions highlighted UHIN as a model for success. Established in 1993, UHIN today allows nearly every healthcare provider and payer in the state – from large hospitals and health plans to native shamans – to exchange information electronically. Richards and the HTP team continue to expand the organization’s technology platform, with projects in exchanging clinical information such as laboratory reports, medication history, discharge reports and other patient care information currently underway.

About HTP, Inc.

HTP develops award-winning software that improves efficiency, profitability and patient satisfaction for hospitals, insurance companies, managed care organizations, third-party administrators and Regional Health Information Organizations. HTP software is used by 227 hospitals and 25 health plans in 25 states. Notable customers include Ohio Medicaid, The Midland Group, OhioHealth, Redlands Community Hospital, Condell Medical Center, The Ohio State University Medical Center and the Utah Health Information Network — the nation's first successful RHIO.

For more information on HTP or to learn how its software is transforming healthcare information exchange for providers, payers and RHIOs, call 888.487.8010 or go to http://www.htp-inc.com.

HTP Inc. Media/Industry Analyst Contact:

Cheryl Claypoole, Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations

Tel: 614.825.1721

Email: cheryl.claypoole @ fahlgren.com

Rob Krohn, HTP

Tel: 614/396.4537

Email: rkrohn @ htp-inc.com

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