Health information exchange FAQs


When we give you care, we place your medical information in our electronic health records. We also use a health information exchange (HIE) to share members' medical information with doctors across our network.

You can choose whether we can place your information in our HIE. To learn more about the HIE, please read the FAQs below.

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  • Thank you for choosing our practice for your care. Please know that we try to provide each member with the care and compassion we want for our own families and ourselves. 

    One tool that has helped us achieve this is our electronic health record (EHR) system.

    An EHR is a computerized health record that provides your doctors with real-time access to your personal health information such as your medications, illnesses and conditions, allergies and reactions, lab results and immunizations. 

    We are also participating in a health information exchange (HIE) so that this information is available to your hospitals and physicians involved in your care, if and when it is needed, in situations such as an emergency.

  • Today, your personal health information may be shared among providers by telephone, fax or mail. These methods take time and can be burdensome on you and your providers.

    In addition, they may fail to provide your physicians with all the information available when they need it.

  • Participating providers such as your primary care doctor, hospital providers and specialist physicians involved in your care, as well as their staff, will have access for treatment purposes only.
  • Lab and x-ray results, medication and immunization history, allergies and drug reactions, transcribed diagnostic and treatment records and other transcribed clinical reports will be available to a participating provider involved in your care.

    Other providers will also have access to this information if it is made available from the primary participating provider for treatment purposes.

    Sensitive information generally will not be shared; that includes, but is not limited to, information related to behavioral health, drug/alcohol/substance abuse, sexual abuse, genetic testing and HIV/STDs.

    However, some sensitive information may be available or referred to elsewhere in the record.

  • The health information exchange secures electronic member records and prevents access by unauthorized persons. The system must comply with the security rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

    HIPAA is the minimum requirement, though state laws and regulations are often more strict.

    All data is protected using encryption, password protection and the ability to track every viewer’s usage of the system.

    All providers must comply with a Health Information Exchange Participation Agreement which governs access to information through any HIE and compliance with written policies and procedures.

  • Participating in a health information exchange offers major benefits to you and your family. Benefits include:

    1. Emergency treatment. Medical staff immediately knows about your allergies, health problems, medications and prior visits, helping them care for you without delay.

    2. More complete and accurate information. An HIE gives your care providers greater access to the information needed to diagnose your health problems earlier. They will know more about you and your health history before they recommend treatment.

    3. Improved care. Access to information about care you received elsewhere gives a better, more complete picture of your health and provides information needed to provide the best care possible.

    •  It helps providers better understand your health history.
    •  It can improve treatment and management of diseases.
    •  It helps prevent the administering of unnecessary or duplicated tests or medicines that may cause adverse reactions with certain members.
    •  It helps your health care providers coordinate to give you the best possible care.

    4. Member empowerment. You can take a more active role in your health and in the health of your family.

  • We call this a decision to “opt out." If you opt out, your health information will not be available for sharing electronically through an HIE. 

    However, your doctors will continue to be able to see your health information in their own electronic medical records. Your decision to opt out of a health information exchange will not affect your ability to receive health care.

    Participating in an HIE is not a condition to receiving care. However, if you opt out, it may affect what information your providers have available when providing your care.

    Your decision to opt out of HIE applies only to sharing your information electronically through a health information exchange. It does not affect other sharing of health information between your providers or health insurers.

    You may opt out by completing the HIE opt-out form and returning it to your participating provider. You can obtain an opt-out form from your participating provider or by clicking here

  • Yes. If you chose to opt out of the HIE, and would like to reverse your decision, you can opt back in at any time by submitting the opt-in form to your participating provider.

    You can obtain an opt-in form from your participating provider or by clicking here

    Note: Participating providers reserve the right to change policies and the information over time. For the most current version and information, check "Related resources" below.

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Related resources