Montana Investing $20M in HIE

Greg Gianforte, Governor of Montana, and Ben Tyrell, CEO, Big Sky Care Connect (BSCC) Montana’s state designated HIE, along with Director Adam Meier of the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), have announced a $20 million investment in the state’s HIE.

Currently, over 75 medical provider organizations and more than half of Montana’s hospital systems are signed on as partners with BSCC. Ben Tyrell reports that DPHHS connected their Medicaid claims system in November 2021. BSCC is working to add other health insurance organizations and other payers and working with more than 40 additional providers to connect to the HIE.

As Ben Tyrell said, “The bottom line is to increase efficiencies no matter where an individual is seeking treatment in the state. It is more efficient if providers can access patient health information at the point of care.”

The funding will be used for improvements to BSCC such as :

  • Establishing a clinical data repository to improve provider data access for better care coordination. For example if a family is displaced to a different town due to an emergency, providers will then have access to the EHRs
  • Providing for a patient event alerting notification system with information on hospital admissions, discharges, or visits to EDs, which will improve provider care intervention
  • Implementing a quality measurement program to improve provider quality metric reporting. Analytics can fill in gaps and expose useful insight into patterns, markers, and other information relevant to the delivery of quality patient care
  • Facilitating the exchange of images to improve healthcare outcomes. BSCC will be able to facilitate the delivery of diagnostic images alongside the providers interpretive report so the medical team will have access to historical diagnostic images


Due to support from DPHHS, the project was able to leverage $15 million in federal funds. Other funding sources include over $4 million in private contributions and $800,000 in state funds. Most of the funding will be allocated to continued design, development, and the implementation of the current system. This includes building out the current technology while adding new participants and implementing new services. The development and implementation phase will continue through 2023.


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