D.C. Opts for Email Data Exchange

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The District of Columbia is shifting away from a formal health information exchange to a less-robust email system for sharing medical data among providers, citing problems with financing and physician compliance as reasons for the shift.

Bids are due Jan. 13 for contractors seeking to build an email platform for D.C. physicians and hospitals to exchange information by the end of June, the Washington Business Journal reported Tuesday. The district can renew the one-year contract for three more years, the newspaper said.

The email system should be able to eventually plug into a nationwide health information exchange, the paper reported.

The D.C. Primary Care Association shut down its D.C. Regional Health Information Organization in October, citing lack of funding, according to the paper. Federal health IT grants that would have gone to the regional health exchange now will go to the email network, to be called Direct Project.