CDC awards $38M in NHIN development contracts

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded three contacts, totaling $38 million, for health information exchanges (HIEs) to develop data-sharing operations, with an emphasis on delivering data to public health authorities.

The contracts, which were expected to be awarded in December 2007, were made in conjunction with the program led by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT to attain trial implementations of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NHIN), according to Government Health IT.

Although CDC’s announcement said the awards were going to HIEs or regional health information organizations (RHIOs), the recipients are one profit-making company, one nonprofit and one medical school: the Indiana University School of Medicine, Science Applications International (SAIC) and Health Research.

Indiana University School of Medicine received up to $10 million over five years for further development of the work being done by the Regenstrief Institute, the Marion County Health Department and the state health department on detecting disease outbreaks by monitoring the flow of data through the Indiana Health Information Exchange.

"This work represents an opportunity to improve the health of our community and disseminate best practices to the nation," said Sean Grannis, MD, a Regenstrief Institute informatician and an assistant professor of family medicine at the IU School of Medicine. Grannis already was leading a project to integrate health data from more than 110 Indiana hospitals for use in disease surveillance.

SAIC will receive up to $8 million over five years, according to the CDC.

“Development of these essential community-based data sharing systems will create seamless integration of public health and bioterrorism surveillance with health care functions, decreasing the amount of time it takes to receive important information about population health,” Les Lenert, director of CDC’s National Center for Public Health Informatics, said in a statement, reported Government Health IT.