In Alabama, medical communities such as hospitals have all developed some limited levels of data exchange. Most are linking their internal systems, and in some isolated cases, hospitals are exchanging data with physicians who are part of their system. Currently, there are no systems in the state communicating with other systems outside their own medical community nor are there any functioning RHIOs although at least one is underway.
Since 2007, the Alabama Medicaid Agency has established basic HIE through a Medicaid Transformation Grant. As a result, the state has a web-based system that compiles claims-based information from both Alabama Medicaid and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama as well as certain physician-entered clinical information.
This information is available through an end use application known as Q-Tool or through one directional CCD exchange. The state’s current HIT system is a hybrid model with Medicaid data centralized and other data sources pulled in at the time of query. The state wants to move to the next level for statewide HIE by building on the work currently underway.
The Alabama Medicaid Agency on behalf of the Alabama HIE (AHIE) Advisory Commission has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for vendor services and expertise in construction, operation, and support of the AHIE to be available to physicians, hospitals, mental health providers, healthcare organizations, and consumers.
In addition vendors will be required to provide support services to include resource consultations, help in the planning for implementation, be available to speak to stakeholder groups, do further research, and keep the state appraised of national changes.
The overall project plan for the development and operation of the AHIE will follow the ONC approved AHIE Strategic Plan and Operational Plan and the State Medicaid HIT Plan. In addition, the state must complete the planning for adoption of meaningful use criteria.
To be a registered vendor with the state, interested vendors must complete an on-line registration at www.purchasing.alabama.gov. As part of the registration, vendors are required to summit $200 in payment to allow for two years access to view, print, bid, and/or be awarded a solicitation to bid.
The RFP issued October 1, 2010, titled “Alabama Statewide HIE Development and Operation” (RFP Number 2010-HIE 04) is due November 12, 2010 with work to begin February 2011.
Go to www.medicaid.alabama.gov/news/rfps_rfis.aspx to download the RFP. For more information, email Gary D. Parker, AHIE IT project coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or call (334) 242-3940.