Behavioral Health Engagement 2023

Background

A priority within the Five-Year Statewide Health IT Plan pertains to supporting behavioral health providers with connecting to the state’s official Health Information Exchange (Connie). Through strategic planning and advice from the Health Information Technology Advisory Council (HITAC), the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) began the behavioral health engagement in 2022. This ongoing campaign, undertaken in partnership with Connie and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), recently held listening sessions with behavioral health providers, organizations, and associations to gather feedback on the following topics:

  • System and data interoperability - how patient data is currently shared 
  • What is working well in the current state 
  • Implications of connecting to Connie (general, technical, confidential)
  • Interoperability value proposition 

The behavioral health engagement remains active and OHS is analyzing all feedback.  OHS acknowledges that some behavioral health providers have expressed concerns with releasing patient data. OHS will continue meeting with behavioral health providers to address concerns and provide further guidance on connection. 

Behavioral Health Sessions Q & A: 

We have received several questions from behavioral health stakeholders, most of which broadly relate to the following topics: 

  • The requirement to connect with Connie; 
  • Patient Privacy, Data Sharing and provider obligations for purposes of Connie; 
  • The technical specifications for connecting with Connie; and 
  • Opting-out of data sharing with Connie. 

OHS has posted answers to the most common inquiries in the FAQ section. We will periodically update this section with additional inquires. These responses are not intended to provide legal advice. Rather, they are intended to assist the reader in understanding how the state designated HIE operates and the requirements for connecting to Connie.  We also recommend that you visit the Connie website for additional information.