The existing electronic data interchange networks of claims clearinghouses could serve as the foundation of a nationwide health information network and exchange clinical data as well as financial information, Julie Klapstein, CEO at clearinghouse vendor Availity LLC testified today in Washington.

"Deployment and adoption efforts for a new network are time consuming and costly," Klapstein told the HIT Policy Committee, an advisory body to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. "I recommend that the existing administrative networks used today for claims transactions be utilized for clinical exchange, as well. The new standards for clinical exchange would be utilized as well as the existing HIPAA standards on the administrative transactions. It will be easier later to combine clinical and financial data on the same patient record if the same infrastructure was utilized for both."

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