In 2012, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched the Mass HIway, the statewide Health Information Exchanges (HIE). This publicly supported HIE enables the secure electronic transfer of clinical and other patient health data among organizations, including hospitals, doctors offices, pharmacies, laboratories, skilled nursing facilities, and other healthcare entities.
Providers can send and receive health information via the HIway, and the connected HIE networks, to obtain the medical history and coordinate the care of their patients. This provides a safer way of sharing patient information than faxing or mailing data to other providers.
The HIway operates a Direct Messaging platform. Direct Messaging is a way to securely exchange information between healthcare entities. The HIway can be used to connect the Electronic Health Record systems (EHR) of the entities to communicate from EHR to EHR via Direct Messaging. Providers who don’t have an EHR can use the HIway’s standalone secure Webmail for Direct Messaging. To learn more about Direct Messaging, click here.
Providers can connect to the HIway to implement a healthcare information exchange process that meets the HIE requirements of the Meaningful Use (MU) and Promoting Interoperability programs. The providers will also have to adapt their workflows to make sure they can meet the MU thresholds.
The Mass HIway is operated by EOHHS. The HIway is financed through a state-federal partnership with the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). MeHI's role is to encourage and support the adoption of the Mass HIway and HIE across Massachusetts.
In 2018, the Mass HIway released HIway 2.0, which is based on the Orion Health's Communicate platform. HIway 2.0 significantly improved the HIE capabilities as it aligned the HIway with modern interoperability standards, simplified the connection process, and improved the user experience.
Mass HIway 2.0 can operate in all provider settings regardless of affiliations, location, or differences in EHR technology. HIway 2.0 is connected to many other HIE networks, which expands your access to many care providers inside and outside of the Commonwealth.
To enable providers to take advantage of the improvements, all existing HIway 1.0 participants have been migrated to HIway 2.0. For detailed information on the features of HIway 2.0 and how to enroll and connect to HIway 2.0, see the HIway Toolkit.
The Massachusetts HIway is open to all interested providers, hospitals, and other organizations within the healthcare community.
Healthcare participants can connect to the HIway in four different ways:
- Direct-enabled EHR systems
- Connect Device
- Secure Webmail portal
- HIway connected to HISP
For information on how the various connection types work, review the "Connection Methods" tab in the HIway Toolkit.
For guidance on how to enroll and connect to HIway 2.0, review the "Enrollment" tab in the HIway Toolkit.
The Mass HIway offers HIway Adoption and Utilization Support (HAUS) Services to assist organizations in the effective deployment of Health Information Exchange (HIE) and the Mass HIway to enhance care coordination.
For information on the HAUS Services and how to obtain the assistance review the overview of the HAUS Services on this website.
In February 2017, EOHHS promulgated 101 CMR 20.00: Health Information Exchange, also known as the Mass HIway Regulations. The regulations implement key components of Chapter 118I of the Massachusetts General Laws, which pertains to the Mass HIway.
The regulations codify the HIway Connection Requirement, which requires certain healthcare organizations to connect to and use the Mass HIway. This currently applies to Acute Care Hospitals, Community Health Centers, and Medium/Large Medical Ambulatory Practices.
This requirement is phased in by type of organization. These organizations must implement increasingly rigorous clinical use cases by sending/receiving HIway Direct messages over a four-year cycle.
Mass HIway 101
Webinar February 2019
Recording (large screen)
Improving Care Coordination
Webinar October 2018
Recording (large screen)
Use the following resources to learn more about the Mass HIway features, advantages, success stories, and how to get connected and develop HIE Use Cases. To review a resource, click on the title of the resource. Alternatively, use the menu on the left to navigate all the available HIway resources.
This page describes the key HIE features offered by HIway 2.0.
This page highlights the advantages of HIway 2.0 versus the conventional methods of sharing health data between providers.
This toolkit provides information on how to enroll and connect to HIway 2.0, and contains resources to effectively use the HIway.
This searchable map lists all organizations connected to the Mass HIway, either directly or via a HIway Trusted HISP.
Visit the Mass HIway website to learn more about the Mass HIway.
This page answers questions frequently asked about the Mass HIway.
These pages provide a detailed overview of the available HAUS Services, and information on how enroll in HAUS.
This toolkit contains tools and use case examples for guiding an organization through the HIE implementation process.
This library showcases stories that describe the care coordination challenges of other organizations, how HIE provided an effective solution, and the impact this had on workflow efficiencies, communication, and patient care.
This library consists of stories to learn about healthcare organizations that used HIE to improve communication among care providers, reduce hospital readmissions, improve patient care, and to meet Meaningful Use objectives.
This resource provides insight into Health IT and the delivery of health care supported by electronic systems and communications, such as EHR systems, HIE, knowledge management, decision-making support, mobile health applications, and patient portals.
Contact the Mass HIway
For more information, contact the Mass HIway at:
1-855-MA-HIway (Options: 1 = Enrollment, 2 = Support, 3 = Information)
For general inquiries: email@example.com
For technical support: firstname.lastname@example.org