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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology

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What agreements are necessary among the member organizations?

The agreements that are necessary among the member organizations are dependent on the organization form of the network.  Informal networks do not have agreements among their member organizations.  Most formal unincorporated networks use memorandums of understanding (MOUs) among its member organizations.  These written agreements specify the purpose for the network and bear the endorsement of its members.  In addition, an MOU outlines the operating principles, including the duties and responsibilities of the membership.  Such agreements are particularly helpful in addressing issues related to organization autonomy and can serve as a basis for negotiation.

For incorporated networks, certain written documents must be created and approved by the state.  Depending on the organizational form chosen, the articles or organization or incorporation needs to be filed with the state by the member-owners detailing the purpose of the network, identifying the initial directors, and specifying the location of offices.  In addition, bylaws or an operating agreement should be drafted and approved by the members that describe the network's organizational, structure, its functions, and the basic responsibilities of the directors, officers, and standing committees.

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