With so many Americans having chosen to purchase insurance benefits on the federal exchange and the majority of states opting out of creating their own marketplaces, Healthcare.gov has the potential to play a significant role in healthcare in the future.
According to the American Journal of Managed Care, the federal exchange website may evolve to become a type of health information exchange (HIE), which facilitates the exchange of medical information between healthcare providers. The AJMC reported healthcare reform is meant to encourage states to create insurance exchanges and their own HIEs, so the federal government’s marketplace becoming an HIE may be problematic for some – especially as the federal government may not have readied for this shift.
Once the federal exchange starts to evolve into an HIE, Joel Ario, a healthcare expert and consultant with business advisory firm Manatt Health Solutions, suggests it will be difficult for the states to “reclaim their role.”
Yet some in the healthcare industry consider HIEs to be evolving into private entities, instead of public ones. According to healthcare resource Government Health IT, public HIEs have issues with connectivity, and many federal grants for these information exchanges have started to become less plentiful. Healthcare.gov may not become an HIE, but only time will tell.