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First-in-the-Nation Legislation Requiring Health Exchange to Operate as State Health Data Utility to Take Effect Oct. 1 in Maryland
[September 21, 2022]

First-in-the-Nation Legislation Requiring Health Exchange to Operate as State Health Data Utility to Take Effect Oct. 1 in Maryland

CRISP, the state-designated health information exchange (HIE) connecting health care providers and the Maryland Department of Health, will now have authority to operate as a health data utility (HDU) after the State Legislature passed key bills this session. This is the first legislation of its kind to be signed into state law in the United States.

Effective October 1, 2022, state law will require the state-designated HIE to provide data in real-time to individuals and organizations involved in the treatment and care coordination of patients and to public health officials to support public health goals. The new legislation will also require the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), nursing homes, electronic health networks and prescription drug dispensers to provide data to the state-designated HIE.

"This designation to operate as a health data utility will amplify the invaluable outcomes sharing health data can have on state public health goals and improving clinical care coordination all while reducing the total cost of care for the state and securing data at the personal level," said Craig Behm, President and CEO of CRISP. "We're grateful for the state's support and investments in improving statewide public health."

State designation is key for allowing HIEs the ability to clarify, defragment and secure individual health data before sharing it with the state health department. Furthermore, state designation allows enhanced partnership with state public health departments to utilize data to guide, evaluate and ultimately enhance outcomes of public health interventions and increase outcomes of state-specific health equity goals.

"Maryland has a unique state approach to quality of care and encouraging and providing investments for the cooperation and collaboration of health systems to work in tandem with the state," said Behm. "For treating clinicians and public health authorities, time is of the essence for early intervention to prevent advanced disease and this new designation will greatly increase health outcomes for our communities."

This legislation comes at a time while the nation is facing several public health crises that have been exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic and a lack of preventative care. CRISP'soperation as a HDU will drastically improve some of the state's leading public health priorities such as early intervention services for vulnerable populations, public health investigations, prescription drug monitoring and covid-19 results and vaccination programs.

"We have a robust infrastructure along with years of specialization in collecting secure and sensitive health care information and delivering it in real-time to providers. We're excited to leverage our HIE to enhance the interoperability of health information throughout the state," added Behm.

CRISP is one of the oldest HIEs in the nation, officially achieving non-profit incorporation in 2009 with the help of millions in grants from the Maryland HSCRC and MHCC. The partnership between CRISP and the state of Maryland along with the modernization and utilization of CRISP's health information technology has been so impactful that CRISP launched CRISP Shared Services (CSS), a non-profit support organization assisting member organizations in achieving economies of scale, pooling innovation efforts and implementing best practices. Additional member affiliates of CSS currently include CRISP DC, Health Connect Alaska and West Virginia Health Information Network. CSS also supports Connie, Connecticut's official HIE.


CRISP is a regional health information exchange (HIE) serving Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and the surrounding regions. A non-profit organization advised by a wide range of stakeholders who are responsible for healthcare throughout the region, CRISP has been formally designated as Maryland's statewide health information exchange by the Maryland Health Care Commission. Health information exchange allows clinical information to move electronically among disparate health information systems. For more information, visit

About CRISP Shared Services

CRISP Shared Services (CSS) is a non-profit support organization that provides technology infrastructure and other core services to Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) across the US. We are different than a vendor in that each of our Member HIEs participates in the governance of the organization.

Our primary motivation is to enable and support each local jurisdiction's Healthcare community so that it can improve health outcomes for its patients. We work with local HIE leadership to implement solutions which best serve the needs of their unique communities, even if those solutions are deployed or built by external vendors. For more information, visit:

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