HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana is developing an electronic health information exchange to allow providers to access a patient’s complete medical record to improve coordination of care, eliminate duplication of tests and reduce health care costs, Gov. Steve Bullock announced Wednesday.

The state has received a nearly $19 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help pay for the project to connect the state’s physicians, hospitals, primary care providers, pharmacies, labs and medical imaging providers.

Montana is one of two states without such an exchange, according to Jean Branscum, the CEO of the Montana Medical Association.

Bullock signed an executive order Wednesday designating Big Sky Care Connect to oversee the state’s health information exchange. It plans to start sharing data next year.

Big Sky Care Connect is a nonprofit organization formed by health care providers and public and private health plans that followed from the Governor’s Council on Health Care Innovation, which was created in 2015.

 

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