Interoperability and Bi-Directional Health Information Exchange

By Lesley Brown, SVP of Project Management at Halfpenny Technologies

Health information data exchange between healthcare providers and healthcare enterprises is associated with a multitude of wins including improved workflow efficiencies, better quality of care for patients and members, care that is more coordinated, streamlined processes, superior patient safety and cost savings to name just a few.  Add to that the increase importance on quality compliance and value based reimbursement and suddenly there is an accelerated demand for discrete clinical data to be exchanged and aggregated between providers and health plans.  Many would say this is where true interoperability or the bi-directional exchange of data between the multitudes of healthcare players involved in a patients care management and coordination comes into play.

How is bi-directional data exchange different?  Bi-directional data exchange allows for the two-way sharing of PHI data between two healthcare entities involved in the care of a patient. That means retrieving data out of a clinical medical record warehoused in an EMR in a physician’s practice or hospital and then returning or sending data back into that EMR as appropriate and as needed. Data shared can include patient referrals, physical histories, progress notes, care plans and corresponding gaps in care. Rather than just allowing data sharing by passing patient records on to other systems, bi-directional data sharing can truly help support the ecosystem of tools and applications that are available today focused on care coordination and the improvement of clinical outcomes.

In the current changing face of healthcare in the United States, providers and payers alike have powerful incentives to modify the way care is managed and paid for.  Their roles are morphing with payers looking to play a bigger role in the management of their members and providers looking to take on more risk.  Central to this is the ability to access and coordinate the vast amounts of population data that can be derived from the multiple outpatient and inpatient settings.  Technological challenges aside data sharing comes with cultural challenges that need to be addressed, particularly between physicians and payers, where historically data has often been used as a pawn in contract negotiations between the two.  Payers and providers need interoperability now more than ever, allowing them to work together to share data and combine resources and forces. Robust bi-directional data exchange can be a solid foundation for this.

Not sure where to look for assistance in coordinating successful bi-directional clinical data exchange?  Halfpenny Technologies has more than fifteen (15) years of experience with bi-directional clinical data exchange including medical record data obtained from Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) exchange as the demand has intensified of late.  A recent example includes the near real time bi-directional exchange of clinical care documents between physicians in ambulatory practices and health coaching providers aligned with a health system. This clinical data exchange allows collaboration on clinical guidelines and protocols for the management of chronic conditions outside the typical primary care provider setting.

Halfpenny Technologies’ continued investment in innovative solutions uniquely positions the company as a national provider of clinical data exchange solutions to the health care industry.




Halfpenny Technologies Names Linda Groff as Vice President and General Manager for the Health Plan Market

Halfpenny Technologies, Inc., a leader in clinical data exchange solutions, announced the appointment of Linda Groff, MBA, as the Vice President and General Manager for the Health Plan Market.

“I am pleased to welcome Linda to the Halfpenny Technologies team.  Linda’s extensive experience with the health plan market makes her uniquely qualified to help us expand our already compelling solutions to the market,” said Tim Kowalski, President and CEO of Halfpenny Technologies.

Linda brings 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry to her new role at Halfpenny Technologies. She has built upon her decade of experience in healthcare delivery with positions in both the healthcare payer and healthcare technology sectors of the market.  Recently, she served as Associate Vice President of Consulting Services at McKesson Health Solutions. She previously held executive positions at both Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and Americhoice, a Medicaid subsidiary of the United Healthcare Group.

“I am thrilled to join the Halfpenny team,” said Linda. “I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the development of products and services that will enable effective operations for the healthcare industry.”

About Halfpenny Technologies

Founded over 15 years ago, Halfpenny Technologies Inc. provides clinical labs, pharma’s, hospitals, ACOs, and health plans with a cloud based, secure, scalable, clinical data exchange platform designed to optimize care coordination, supplement HEDIS reporting, improve STAR ratings and efficiently connect physicians EHR systems.


Halfpenny Technologies Inc.
Emily Pollock, 610-277-9100 X191

The invaluable benefit of finding out in real time when a Member or Patient is in the Hospital

By Lesley Brown, SVP of Project Management at Halfpenny Technologies

Keeping track of when a member is admitted to the hospital is critical for both the patient’s health plan and their physician.


Many health plans receive utilization data from their associated hospitals, but how frequently and how quickly does this occur? And primary care physicians rarely find out their patient has been in the hospital until their next office visit. The result – all too often, your patient has left the hospital before you were informed they were admitted!

Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) HL7 messages are ubiquitous in hospital information systems and communicate a patient’s state (admitted, discharged etc.) and when their personal or demographic information has changed. Timely notification of an inpatient hospital stay, an emergency room (ER) visit, or transfer to another facility via these apparently simple but ever present messages can be instrumental in supporting care coordination. Assistance with helping to reduce hospital readmissions comes to mind when we talk about hospital events but the near real time tracking of utilization events can have a much broader impact.

Imagine knowing a member has been admitted to the hospital for an exacerbation of a chronic condition such as congestive heart failure or COPD. How impactful would it be to have knowledge of that before the patient is discharged and to visit that member right there in the hospital? Research has shown that patients are more accepting and acquiescent to suggestions and changes to their health when they are in such situations. This time could be invested to review a care management program that would be beneficial for them to enroll in and to help them understand their plan of care. Notably, the time can also be used to improve member’s exposure to their health plan and transition their insurance provider’s image from one centered around billing to one focused on care coordination. For health plans, care managers who are located in hospital locations or patient centered medical homes, real time knowledge of utilization events can drastically improve their effectiveness and impact.

Looking for some assistance in obtaining meaningful clinical data such as ADT HL7 messages so you can be notified immediately of health care encounters? Halfpenny Technologies Hospital Utilization Notification Solution can provide you with real-time, customized information around a member’s hospital events including ER and inpatient admissions, changes in level of care, transfer to another facility and discharge. In the case of a trigger event you can be notified immediately via text or email providing the opportunity for instant contact and communication. Halfpenny Technologies’ continued investment in innovative solutions uniquely positions the company as a national provider of clinical data exchange solutions to the health care industry.

Ivy Creek Healthcare to Expand Physician Outreach Program


Clinical Data Exchange Solutions provided by Halfpenny Technologies solutions to assist in expansion

BLUE BELL, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ivy Creek Healthcare announced today an expansion of their hospital physician outreach capabilities through clinical data exchange solutions provided by Halfpenny Technologies Inc. (“HTI”). The HTI platform will facilitate the exchange of clinical laboratory orders and results to physicians, clinics and long-term care facilities that refer to the Ivy Creek three hospital system.

“Our team is looking forward to helping Ivy Creek expand into their surrounding communities through their clinical outreach initiatives with our clinical data exchange and business intelligence solutions,” Tim Kowalski, President & CEO said. “We have worked with over 95% of the EMR companies so we are uniquely positioned to assist in providing Ivy Creek’s patients with reliable, proven interoperability solutions that we deliver as a fully managed services delivery model. Our latest V7 release of our Web-based Clinical Orders and Results Portal will also be rolled out to assist their clients with a secure, easy to navigate system to create clean requisitions and to view results online.”
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Looking to build a complete picture of your member’s health?

By Lesley Brown, SVP of Project Management at Halfpenny Technologies

The potential benefits to health plans of compiling a complete picture of their member’s health status are plentiful. 


It really goes without saying that the more data and information you have about your members, the better help and guidance you can give them. You can ensure they receive the most appropriate and best care without unnecessary replication of services.  And importantly… without redundant costs!  For a long time, health plans have been reasonably content with the data that they obtain from medical claims.  But as payers become more engaged in actual care management and strive for value based care for their members, many are realizing that the data from claims offers only a part of this comprehensive picture.  Some of the pertinent detail, such as a lab test value, is often absent from a claim. Some care may not always result in an insurance claim.

The utilization of clinical data, such as that obtained from a continuity of care document (CCD) from a physician’s practice, can help enrich this health record for your members.  And the brilliant thing is – you do not need to wait for that first visit to the doctor with you as their medical insurer to occur.  If the member has remained with their doctor but changed insurance plans, their historical information will still be in their clinical medical record.

Unfortunately, gathering all this clinical data from multiple sources in order to take advantage of it is not as easy as it may sound.  There are many health information systems, such as EMR’s and LIS’s, that are in use by physician groups and hospitals. These medical record systems are built in a proprietary way in order to ensure a market share or niche for the vendor.  As a result, they use different templates and store common data elements in different formats. This is all thanks in part to variations in the interruption of industry standards.  Due to this variation these electronic record systems struggle to communicate with each other, never mind a vested third party that might be looking to take advantage of this goldmine of clinical data.  You’ve heard the term – there is a lack of “interoperability” in healthcare.  As a result, health plans that are interested in gathering this clinical data so they can compile a more complete picture of their member’s health are faced with a project that is time consuming, extremely expensive, and often results in failure.

Looking for some assistance in collecting clinical data?  Halfpenny Technologies (HTI) has been in the clinical data exchange business for more than 15 years. Over that time, HTI has built reusable interfaces that connect to 90%+ of the top EHR vendors and LIS/HIS systems.  HTI’s vendor agnostic approach allows the receipt of any EHR or LIS data format and in return health plans can receive clinical data in the layout of their choice. Halfpenny Technologies’ continued investment in innovative solutions has uniquely positioned the company as a national provider of clinical data exchange solutions to the health care industry.

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Going to the HIMSS 2016 Conference? Find us at booth #8033. Let us help you solve your complex interoperability challenges.

Ready for #HIMSS16?

The 2016 HIMSS Conference is almost a month away! Scroll through our infographic and find some useful information on the conference before you leave for Las Vegas.


We are so excited for HIMSS and to showcase how we can solve your interoperability challenges.

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By Emily Pollock, Marketing Specialist at Halfpenny Technologies