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Needed: Funding and Policy
Despite their differences, HealthInfoNet Maine and BronxRHIO share the same uncertainty about their financial future. Both are funded, at least in part, by federal grants, but that alone is not a sustainable model.
Landry said subscriber fees constitute about half of HealthInfoNet's financial support. As for what happens when grants stop funding the other half, she said "discussions are under way."
At BronxRHIO, meanwhile, a mix of federal, state and local grants make up about two-thirds of funding, with the rest coming from membership dues, – an approach Scaglione said will serve the organization for the next five years.
Beyond that, he anticipates continuing with grants as an inevitable part of the mix, but said the organization will also move toward a service-based model of membership, with dues based (in addition to the size of a provider) on what specific services the institution wants BronxRHIO to provide.
As the future financial models, critical services, standards and policies by which the NwHIN will ultimately operate continue to take shape, in simplest terms the NwHIN can be boiled down to getting one provider connected to another, and then to another, and then another – until it's time to plot yet again a new and different national map.
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