Maryland Passes Legislation for HIE to Operate as State Health Data Utility

What You Should Know:

– Maryland State Legislature has passed inaugural legislation, mandating the state-designated health information exchange (HIE), CRISP, to operate as the state-designated health data utility (HDU) beginning Oct. 1.

– Effective October 1, 2022, state law will require the state-designated HIE to provide data in real-time to individuals and organizations involved in the treatment and care coordination of patients and to public health officials to support public health goals. The new legislation will also require the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), nursing homes, electronic health networks and prescription drug dispensers to provide data to the state-designated HIE.

Why It Matters

State designation is key for allowing HIEs the ability to clarify, defragment and secure individual health data before sharing it with the state health department. Furthermore, state designation allows enhanced partnership with state public health departments to utilize data to guide, evaluate and ultimately enhance outcomes of public health interventions and increase outcomes of state-specific health equity goals.

While many states have yet to even implement a HIE, Maryland has been operating one since 2009, and now leads the country in further evolving HIEs to be even more robust and secure to improve clinical care coordination and public health projects (PHP). Through this law, critical PHPs such as prescription drug and opioid monitoring, neonatal development, emergency encounter notifications, cancer screening and HIV/PREP, etc. will be able to operate more effectively.

CRISP Background

CRISP is one of the oldest HIEs in the nation, officially achieving non-profit incorporation in 2009 with the help of millions in grants from the Maryland HSCRC and MHCC. The partnership between CRISP and the state of Maryland along with the modernization and utilization of CRISP’s health information technology has been so impactful that CRISP launched CRISP Shared Services (CSS), a non-profit support organization assisting member organizations in achieving economies of scale, pooling innovation efforts and implementing best practices. Additional member affiliates of CSS currently include CRISP DC, Health Connect Alaska and West Virginia Health Information Network. CSS also supports Connie, Connecticut’s official HIE.

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