On June 12, 2008 at the Government Health IT Conference & Exhibition in Washington D.C., Microsoft released version 2 of its Connected Health and Human Services Framework, which it touted as providing a "flexible, individual and family-centered approach for addressing the challenges that face HHS agencies, departments and programs as they respond to complex social needs and problems and deliver services to individuals and families in need."
Health Data Management notes that Microsoft has been working with numerous HHS state and federal agencies, and noticed the need for a connected HHS framework that links people, information, systems and devices to help expand access to care, improve quality of services and outcomes, and help protect the safety and well-being of clients and the community.
Eventually, if nationwide HIE becomes a reality, then public sector agencies also need to be technologically linked-in and ready to receive and send information electronically. Many licensed facilities and providers are obligated under either state or federal reporting laws to transmit certain health information to agencies for monitoring and tracking of public health issues. Such releases are not prohibited under HIPAA under either the "public health" disclosure exception, or because they are "required by law."