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HIE participation doesn't create test savings

InformationWeek, June 5, 2013

The use of health information exchanges (HIEs) in ambulatory care is unlikely to produce significant cost savings through reductions in rates of testing, a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) concludes. But the researchers emphasized that there may be other economic benefits of HIE from "downstream outcomes of better informed, higher quality care." The hypothesis of the study -- based on earlier predictions by health policy experts -- was that if physicians had online access to results of tests recently ordered by other doctors, they wouldn't order those tests again for the same patients. If that proved to be true, according to the hypothesis, there should be some cost savings.