Georgia Department of Community Health

The Georgia Department of Community Health received federal funding to establish the Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN), the goal of which is to facilitate the secure electronic exchange of health information to improve public health, quality of care and health care efficiency. The GaHIN’s information highway is intended to give providers and patients access to complete medical information for better care. AGG was called on to assist handling the significant healthcare, regulatory, privacy, intellectual property and vendor relationship legal issues associated with the network.


AGG worked with the Department of Community Health to explore any legal limitations on the exchange of health information through this vehicle. We advised our client on the structure of the network, contracting terms and mechanisms for various vendors, and legal parameters, constraints, and concerns for operation of the network. We further assisted the state in coordinating with various providers and participants to achieve maximum utilizations. Finally, we developed policies and procedures for the use of the network, as appropriate, and secured any intellectual property for the state.


The department has launched phase one of the GaHIN, which consists of DIRECT message, a secure messaging system among providers, benefitting patients and the public by direct secure messaging and coordination of care through the system. AGG will continue to work with the state to launch the second phase, which will allow qualified participants to use the GaHIN to access records for complete care, and ultimately to move the venture to a public/private initiative through GaHIN.