Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health via Health Information Exchange Program (STAR HIE Program)

Notice of Funding Opportunity - STAR HIE Program

Application Due Date: September 1, 2020

Anticipated Award Date: September 30, 2020

Awardees in the STAR HIE Program (Program) will build upon previous and existing federal investments in health information exchanges (HIEs) and will leverage work done by the industry to advance HIE services for the benefit of public health. The result of these efforts would be improved linkages between public health agencies and the services that HIEs are well situated to provide. These services include, but are not limited to, establishing or updating:

  • Services that benefit public health registries;
  • Connectivity services that benefit a public health agency; and/or
  • Data services that benefit a public health agency.

This Program seeks to respond to the needs facing public health agencies by leveraging the unique abilities and characteristics of HIEs. These include, for example, the following:

  • HIEs serve as hubs for rich data from a multitude of sources.
  • HIEs are often state, local, or regional entities, with a strong understanding of and experience with local health care environments, including policies dictating data use for public health agencies.
  • HIEs facilitate competition within the health care system by acting as trusted third parties who work with otherwise competitive health care entities.
  • HIEs either actively support public health agencies or have the ability to do so (e.g., activities such as supporting public health reporting, improving data quality, and other data services).

Currently, there are approximately 100 HIE organizations in the United States. HIEs cover about 99% of the Unites States population, according to the national trade association of HIEs.

The Program has the following objectives:

  1. Build innovative HIE services that benefit public health agencies.
    Applicants must propose activities that would benefit public health agencies. This requirement is included in the NOFO because of the unique opportunity that HIEs present with regard to supporting public health agencies. The outcome of achieving this objective will be that public health agencies are more capable of responding to public health events, including pandemics such as COVID-19.
  2. Improve the HIE services available to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Applicants must describe how they would deploy services or functionalities to enable, enhance, or increase the use of health information exchange among relevant entities, including providers who care for vulnerable or at-risk populations. Applicants must describe how their activities under the cooperative agreement address communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including as it relates to the stratifying factors of age, race, ethnicity, disability, and sex. The outcome of achieving this objective will be to increase public health understanding of how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted various communities and increase the capability of public health agencies and the health care system to respond to that impact.

The STAR HIE NOFO is limited competition. It is limited to United States-based HIE entities. The award will allocate $2,500,000 to fund up to five (5) awards with a period of performance of up to two (2) years in the form of cooperative agreements with funding contingent upon availability of funds, satisfactory completion of milestones, and a determination that continued funding is in the best interest of the federal government and the public. ONC plans to award these five awards in the amount of up to $500,000 each.

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View Program Applicant Questions and Answers

View Press Release Announcing Awardees

Read the NOFO [PDF - 591 KB]

Read the press release

Watch ONC HIE Informational Session Recording

Questions? Email