On March 6, 2012 Greater Houston Healthconnect announced a merger with the Galveston County Health Information Exchange and the Health Information Exchange of Southeast Texas in order to foster healthier communities and a better exchange between patients and healthcare providers. This merger will allow easier access to a more complete view of a patient's medical information across the majority of Southeast Texas.
In an effort to improve health care delivery these new shared-systems will assure patients in multiple community health areas can be able to effectively navigate regional health systems. These two mergers bring in 18 new hospitals and 1,402 physicians to the network. Larger coverage on a unified system will allow thousands of patients to have access to a more coordinated healthcare network across their various providers. This will save hours of waiting-room visits, millions of dollars in data processing and streamline the patient referral program for physicians.
Healthconnect covers a 20-county area of 133 hospitals, more than 14,000 physicians and nearly 7 million people, representing the largest health information exchange (HIE) in Texas. What does this mean for seniors?
As a whole this expansion will allow a stronger regional healthcare plan in Southeast Texas that can continue to join with other HIEs in the state to create a wider and broader network connecting providers and physicians with patients and save millions of dollars annually. Throughout that process healthcare costs will lower, budget cuts to Medicare and Medicade will be more manageable, and the entire state healthcare system can balance.
Throughout the 2012 year continued developments and partnerships between HIEs and providers is expected in order to make a more innovative and cost-efficient healthcare plan without sacrificing quality. This will work with existing care programs in order to make senior care and elder care, whether at care-providing facilities or with at-home caregivers, more effective.
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