Posted in HIX

Austin project aims to create consumer-controlled health data network

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
Austin project aims to create consumer-controlled health data network

A Texas start-up plans to launch a pilot project early next year intended to be “the nation’s first fully connected and interoperable consumer controlled health data infrastructure.”

If successful, Connected Health Austin (CHA) could serve as the connected healthcare model for the entire nation, empowering patients and helping the U.S. healthcare system avoid wasting billions of dollars annually.

The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was designed to protect patient medical and personal data, but complying with the mandates of HIPAA can slow down the process of transferring and accessing medical records – most practices still share data with other providers by faxing signed health records – leading to costly delays and interfering with timely medical care.

“There’s a huge bottleneck. More than $500 billion a year is wasted in U.S. health care because of these types of inefficiencies,” Brian Baum, director of CHA, tells the Austin Business Journal.

CHA says its mission is to unlock the “value of patient-controlled health data through interoperability technology, benefiting both patients and providers.”

“Connected Health Austin allows consumers a mobile-friendly means of controlling their health data by authorizing the sharing of it between Connected Health Austin members, as well as participating organizations,” CHA explains on its website. “Connected Health Austin eliminates the current system inefficiencies of recreating patient health history, faxing copies, and carrying those printed copies of health records from provider to provider.”

CHA is in the process of raising $2 million through Austin Community Foundation to support the program.