Walgreen, UnitedHealth, Epic Form Carequality To Share Patient Data

Zina Moukheiber | Forbes | February 24, 2014

How many organizations do we need to facilitate the electronic transfer of patient information from one health care provider to another? A few, it seems.

Healtheway, an organization which grew out of a government effort to enable health information exchange, launched Carequality. Its mission: to accelerate the sharing of patient data.

Only one year ago, a group of electronic health record vendors, led by McKesson and Cerner, formed CommonWell Health Alliance to connect their platforms. Epic Systems, a dominant vendor, swiftly denounced the move as a competitive play, and said it would not join. The company questioned the purpose of the alliance, when national interoperability standards already exist.

Epic has now joined forces with various health care players, many already on the board of Healtheway, to form Carequality. They include more than twenty founding members, such as Surescripts, Walgreen, Kaiser Permanente, and Optum (UnitedHealth Group). “We represent not just vendors or health care providers, or payers, but all stakeholders,” says Mariann Yeager, Healtheway’s executive director. “This is a call for all stakeholders to participate.” The government has a seat at the table.