Health Information Technology Policy

HIT Adoption and Financial Impact

Financial Impact of HIE on Maine Health Care Expenditures

UMass Medical School’s Center for Health Policy and Research, in collaboration with Witter & Associates, conducted an analysis of the potential annual savings associated with electronic health information exchange (HIE) services provided by HealthInfoNet in Maine. This analysis was designed to develop and evaluate initial and ongoing funding strategies for electronic HIE activities in Maine by estimating the potential savings associated with HealthInfoNet demonstration project services. This study accomplished the following:

  • Reviewed potential return on investment associated with HIE in Maine, following up from the study conducted by Baker Newman & Noyes in 2004
  • Assessed more recent national estimates of the impact of HIE
  • Matched relevant savings estimates based on Maine data by what is determined to be
    • Reasonable based on HIE successes to date
    • Applicable to HealthInfoNet demonstration phase service delivery
    • Achievable to the stakeholders participating currently and in the future
  • Estimated the potential range of financial impact of HIE on Maine health care expenditures

The findings estimate potential annual health care savings opportunities resulting from the demonstration project. Specific savings relate to potentially avoidable services in emergency room and ambulatory care settings, as well as productivity gains by providers who have access to the electronic HIE network. These savings were reviewed through the following parameters:

  • Statewide aggregate savings associated with current HealthInfoNet rollout of services statewide
  • Savings by specific phases of the HealthInfoNet demonstration as identified by HealthInfoNet leadership
  • Savings by health care payer category

HIT Adoption in Massachusetts

In 2005, Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services asked the Center for Health Policy and Research to assess current health information technology (HIT) initiatives in the state and their expected roles, costs, and diffusion over time. This led the agency to develop policies supporting the advancement and implementation of HIT throughout the state.

Key goals of the study:

  • Identify current Massachusetts HIT initiatives
  • Evaluate other state government responses to national HIT trends
  • Review the legal issues and challenges related to HIT
  • Evaluate the Massachusetts provider landscape and current level of HIT adoption
  • Assess technology costs and benefits and how they apply to Massachusetts
  • Analyze the diffusion of these technologies over time

Key Staff

Jay Himmelstein  Jay Himmelstein M.D., M.P.H.
Chief Health Policy Strategist
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Michael Tutty Michael Tutty, M.H.A., Ph.D.
Director, Office of Health Policy and Technology
Instructor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Shaun Alfreds  Shaun T. Alfreds, M.B.A., CPHIT
Senior Policy Consultant
Instructor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Learn More

Jay S. Himmelstein
(508) 856-3957