HIXNY was formed about six years ago by Iroquois Healthcare Alliance , a Clifton Park-based group of 59 upstate hospitals, and the New York Health Plan Association , the Albany group representing the state's health insurers. It initially focused on the technical aspects of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Earlier this year, it aligned itself with a group made up of the chief information officers of various hospitals and shifted its focus to the creation of a RHIO. In June, the group received a $1.7 million grant from the state, under the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers, better known as HEAL NY.

Chris Baldwin, chairman of the board of directors of HIXNY and chief information officer for Northeast Health of Troy, N.Y., said FirstGateways was chosen because it "is the best match for our region's needs," is based on emerging national standards, and offers clinical interoperability and electronic prescription capabilities.

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