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Indiana Health Information Exchange hires new CEO

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The Indiana Health Information Exchange has a new leader: veteran local businessman Harold Apple.

Apple, 65, assumes leadership of the Indianapolis-based organization from J. Marc Overhage, it said Thursday.

Overhage will remain with the not-for-profit as its chief strategic officer and national policy adviser, with a focus on influencing health care technology policy-making at the national level.

The organization is one of four operational exchanges in Indiana that allows for the sharing of medical records electronically. It has a relationship with 62 hospitals and more than 14,000 physicians, including some in Illinois.

“I’m being brought in to move this organization to the next level,” Apple said. “I’m not being accessed for health care [expertise], but for my business-growth experience.”

Apple founded the Indianapolis-based Vector Technologies Inc., which he sold to MajescoMastek of Edison, N.J., for undisclosed terms in July 2007. He continued working for the company for 18 months, when he left to do consulting.

Vector provided insurance policy acquisition, administration, and processing software to customers in the North American life insurance industry. MajescoMastek is the U.S. subsidiary of Mastek, a technology giant headquartered in Mumbai, India.

“Harold brings with him the kind of skills and experience that will allow IHIE to further refine, and expand, its service offerings so that we can be even stronger partners to our customers and help support better outcomes for all patients,” Vincent Caponi, IHIE chairman and CEO of St. Vincent Health, said in a prepared statement.

Overhage was paid $154,900 in 2008, the most recent year for which public data is available. Apple declined to disclose his salary.

Indiana Health Information Exchange was founded in 2004 and is one of 73 such organizations in the country, according to the latest national survey by the eHealth Initiative. That’s a sign of the growing attention being paid to exchanging medical information electronically.

But IHIE is one of only 18 of those operational exchanges that are breaking even financially. More than one-third say they depend on federal funds, such as stimulus money that poured into the field but will not be ongoing.

“The Indiana Health Information Exchange is the brightest spot in the nation in a very difficult industry that has an intricate web of stakeholders,” Apple said. “I’m eager to lead IHIE in this next phase of its growth.”

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