Sunday, November 29, 2009

West Virginia Issues RFP

A Request for Proposals (RFP#HCC09) issued by the West Virginia Health Information Network (WVHIN) seeks vendors to provide a statewide Health Information Exchange for physicians, hospitals, other healthcare organizations, and consumers.

West Virginia has a population of 1.8 million people living in very rural areas. To serve this rural population, a relatively high number of hospitals have less than 100 beds, and a high level of clinics are serving the underserved. Based on the population profile and the number of small providers, a strong case has been made for the need for a statewide HIE.

WVHIN has set a goal for 60 to 75 percent of the physicians in the state to adopt EMRs or EMR- like products with connectivity to the network. Many physicians will be purchasing their own EMRs or will have access to high end EMRs through hospitals, Medicaid-sponsored resources, IPAs, and health plans. Many of these EMRs will have the capacity to achieve “meaningful use” as defined by the HITECH provision in ARRA.

However, there will be two additional groups of physicians that will also need to connect to the network. The first group with small paper-based practices will probably not easily adapt to EMR utilization. They will need very low cost and very easy to use entry-level products to help them migrate to a more fully functioning EMR and assistance to achieve “meaningful use”. The second group consists of practices that are currently electronic and using a Practice Management System but yet these practices will need assistance to achieve “meaningful use.”

The RFP contains three tiers with Tier 1 to provide for a set of entry level, very low cost, and easy to use integrated applications that are retrievable through the network. Tier 2 also requires very low cost easy to use applications to be integrated into the Tier 1 tools if feasible, and Tier 3 will provide for advance functionality to be integrated into the Core Exchanger User tools to include PHRs, CPOE, a registry, and clinical decision support.

In addition, the West Virginia Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center is applying for ARRA funding to be able to join with WVHIN to assist providers in implementing their electronic health information technology.

The proposal is due on January 15, 2010 with the vendor to be announced in April 2010. For more information, go to and click on Request for Proposal. The WVHIN Purchasing agent is Helen Wilson at