Oklahoma HIE tries to mandate data reporting but fails

After legal pushback from providers and a veto of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority requirements, the OHCA Board approved emergency rules to encourage collaboration with the new statewide health information exchange that launched July 1.
By Andrea Fox
11:18 AM


Providers are no longer required to share data with the state of Oklahoma's newly operational health information exchange. The revised rules await Governor Kevin Stitt's approval.


The Oklahoma Health Care Authority initially required the state's healthcare providers to upload and share consenting patient records in the statewide online database authorized under the Health Information Act. 

When mental health providers wanted to be excluded from mandatory reporting to ensure patient privacy, the agency developed exemptions and submitted them to the state legislature in March.

Stitt rejected OHCA's rule changes for the new HIE late last month, and, as a result, all providers in the state were no longer required to share patient data, according to a recent report on PoncaCityNow.com.

According to this week's announcement from OHCA, the board approved new emergency rules that include:

  • Broad exemptions that allow any provider seeking an exemption to be granted one. 
  • Refined and added definitions.
  • Clarification on required participation.
  • Continued adherence to state and federal law regarding patient disclosure and consent.
  • Defined fees, including participation fee, connection fee and grant funds to cover connection fees.


In 2017, Oklahoma's previous HIE ceased operation due to competition with another HIE. 

When OHCA's newly created Office of the State Coordinator for Health Information Exchange first proposed rules as part of Oklahoma Senate Bill 1369 – formally, the Healthcare Transparency Initiative Act – in September, it was reportedly met with more than 300 comments. 

Earlier this month, Collin Walke, special counsel with the regional legal firm Hll Estill, told Fox 25 that the rules were "too vague." 

According to the report, Walke represents two licensed counselors who filed a lawsuit against the state on constitutional grounds.

"It was an unconstitutional law because we had a constitutional provision in Oklahoma that says citizens and their providers cannot be compelled to participate in a healthcare system," he said.


"OHCA is thankful for the feedback of Oklahoma patients and providers in creating these emergency rules which encourages improved collaboration among different healthcare providers while protecting a patient’s right to privacy," the agency said in the statement. 

"OHCA remains committed to creating a streamlined, holistic healthcare approach and improving health outcomes for Oklahomans through the HIE." 

Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Email: afox@himss.org

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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