Connecticut health information exchange dissolved, forced to start over

The state of Connecticut got high marks on its health insurance exchange, but when it comes to health information exchanges, it has a long way to go. The Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut, the state’s quasi-public agency created to develop a workable HIE, was recently dissolved “after wasting $4.3 million in federal grants and […]

The state of Connecticut got high marks on its health insurance exchange, but when it comes to health information exchanges, it has a long way to go.

The Health Information Technology Exchange of Connecticut, the state’s quasi-public agency created to develop a workable HIE, was recently dissolved “after wasting $4.3 million in federal grants and four years without accomplishing anything.”

That’s the view of Ellen Andrews, executive director of the Connecticut Health Policy Project and a board member of HITE-CT, writing in a blog post on CT News Junkie.

“A new report by the state auditors cites some of the reasons for the failure, but as a HITE-CT board member I can offer more. The auditors found deficiencies in financial controls, legal problems, and a ‘need for improvement in management practices and procedures.’ That is an understatement.”

Among other things, the report notes that HITE-CT developed “overly ambitious, unrealistic plan,” with auditors finding deficiencies in financial controls, legal problems and overall mismanagement.

Andrews was the consumer advocate on the board, and she further notes that fellow board members voted against “a sensible opt-in privacy policy that would have given consumers control over their sensitive information,” something surrounding states like Massachusetts had incorporated. Most residents preferred such a policy, she writes.

The state’s legislature moved the responsibly of creating an HIE onto the Department of Social Services. From Andrews:

Unfortunately SIM’s new HIT committee, charged with advising DSS on the plan, includes many of the same HITE-CT leaders. Hopefully, they’ve learned from their failure and won’t repeat the same mistakes this time. Connecticut deserves better.