HealthShare Exchange is a voluntary secure network of healthcare providers, health insurers, and public health agencies. If a patient’s healthcare provider or insurer is connected and sharing patient data with HealthShare Exchange, that patient’s information may be available to other providers connected to HealthShare Exchange.
A patient may opt out of sharing his or her information in HealthShare Exchange by completing a HealthShare Exchange opt-out form. In addition, a patient who has previously opted out may opt back in by resubmitting the form through his or her healthcare provider or directly to HealthShare Exchange. Please refer to forms and information linked below.
Forms for submission online:
Forms for submission by fax or mail:
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Health Information Exchange?
Health information exchange is the electronic movement of health information between healthcare providers (doctors and certain other healthcare professionals). Your information is secure and available only for permitted uses.
Sharing of your medical information between your providers is not new. But electronic sharing makes it quicker and easier. HealthShare Exchange (HSX) is the health information exchange that serves patients in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region.
What are the Benefits of Health Information Exchange?
If they are connected, providers involved in your care can exchange information about your medical history, treatments, procedures, test results, medications, and more on their computers and secure devices. Using this information, your primary care provider, hospital, specialist, pharmacy, health plan, and care coordinators can make your care better. Your team works together to make more-informed decisions with you and on your behalf.
Health information exchange can improve your experience too. It can reduce the number of tests and procedures you need done. And, it can decrease the amount of your medical history and records that you need to remember, bring with you, or have sent.
How is My Health Information Shared?
Health information exchange can occur in these ways:
Direct exchange: Your providers can share information on your healthcare directly between them. Point to point. This helps members of your care team to coordinate aspects of your care. This might mean your primary care provider sending a referral to a specialist or receiving information from a hospital about your visit there. If and when this happened in the past, a lot of it was done through faxing. Now your team can do it in a secure electronic format.
Encounter Notification Service: Your provider, healthcare plan, or managed-care organization can identify you as one of their patients. Then, when you are admitted to or discharged from a hospital, they get an alert about your visit and can follow up with you if necessary.
Query access: With an inquiry, your healthcare provider can search HSX data for your past information.
How is My Health Information Protected?
HSX carefully protects the privacy and security of your information. It uses different types of controls to keep your information confidential. The information is available for viewing and use only by approved healthcare providers. These healthcare workers must follow all of the federal and state privacy laws that apply.
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and related regulations, set standards for this. All HSX provider and hospital participants must sign an agreement to treat your information with appropriate care and meet HSX policies and procedures.
How Can I Opt Out?
For your own benefit, your participation in health information exchange is encouraged. But if you prefer, you can choose not to participate in HSX. This is called opting out.
Although every effort is made to put your opt-out in effect as soon as possible, it may take up to five business days for the request to be processed.
What If I Opt Out?
What opting out does prevent:
• Sharing of your information via the query method.
Your healthcare provider and other participants will receive a notification of your opt-out status in response to any query or search of HSX data. None of your health information will be displayed or transmitted in response to queries, even in the case of an emergency.
What opting out does not prevent:
• Sharing of your information via other methods.
- Your opt-out does not prevent Direct sharing of your health information from provider to provider through the exchange. It also does not prevent the sharing of your information outside of the exchange in the traditional ways permitted by law. Thus, it does not prevent a provider from seeking or sending information about you through other electronic or non-electronic methods. If you have concerns about your information being shared for care transitions or coordination of care, please contact your healthcare provider(s) directly. In some circumstances, healthcare providers may be able to prevent the sharing of your clinical data in the methods described here.
- Opting out does not prevent the HSX Encounter Notification Service from alerting your primary care provider, insurer, or care-management organization about emergency services or inpatient treatment you have received. If you have concerns about your information being shared in this method, please contact your healthcare provider(s) directly.
- Though HSX is the largest HIE in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region, there are a number of networks between providers, especially within health systems, that also foster the sharing of patient health information. HSX does not have control over how these networks store and share patient health information. If you feel you would like to protect your information from any electronic exchange, speak to your healthcare providers about how they may participate in information exchange.
- Finally, the state of Pennsylvania operates the PA Patient and Provider Network (P3N) in an effort to connect patient health information across the state. Opting out of HSX will prevent the sharing of any of your information from HSX to P3N. However, if you have been a patient anywhere else in the state, another health information organization may have access to some of your patient health data that may be shared with P3N. For more information, including how to exclude your health information from the state exchange, see http://www.paehealth.org/consent.
What is the Difference Between HSX and P3N?
The U.S. is trying to connect hospitals and healthcare providers across the country electronically. That way, if a patient from Philadelphia goes to the emergency room while on vacation in Florida, the Florida healthcare provider will be able to access information on that patient’s medical history. P3N is the state’s effort to work toward that goal by networking the health information organizations in Pennsylvania.
HSX helps doctors, hospitals, and insurers share information in the Philadelphia region but does not have patient health information on residents outside of the five-county area. If a patient from Pittsburgh goes to a Philadelphia emergency room, he or she would not be listed in the HSX data repository. Instead, the hospital staff could access P3N for information on the patient that exists elsewhere in the state. For more information please visit: http://www.paehealth.org.
What if I Want to Opt Back In?
If you opt back into HSX, your healthcare provider and other participants will once more be able to access information about your healthcare, including information created before your opt-back-in date. (If you choose, you may opt out again at any time.)
Although every effort is made for an opt back in to take effect as soon as possible, it may require up to five business days after receipt of the form for the request to be processed.
For information on opting back in to the P3N state network, go to http://www.paehealth.org/consent.