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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

This bears watching

Cal INDEX from Cal INDEX on Vimeo.
Health plan giants partner on groundbreaking HIE
By Anne Zieger Aug 6th
Dive Brief:
In a deal unlike virtually any seen in health IT, two of California's largest health insurers have set plans to create what is likely to be the largest health information sharing network in the U.S.
The California Integrated Data Exchange will link two of the state's biggest health plans, competing Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California.
The network should be up and running by the end of the year and should include the health records of about 9 million Blue Shield and Anthem patients.
Dive Insight:
This is such an unusual deal that it may be unparalleled in the history of HIEs to date. Not only are the two insurance giants connecting within a few months, at the end of three years the network should include 30 large medical provider organizations.

This approach is in sharp contrast to the way most HIEs form, which is usually by agreement of a handful of local providers, overseen by a regional non-profit operating the exchange and funded by state or local grants. While HIEs vary, of course, a large number have had trouble surviving, as it has been very difficult for them to convince participating providers to pay the expenses of running the exchange...
Will be following this closely, now that I'm back in The Peoples' Republic (and grumbling about my Muir experience). Given that I was involved in the launch of Nevada's first HIE, I know first-hand the challenges.

True HIE success in California, with its 38 million population, could very well point the way to sustainable success elsewhere in the nation. Cal INDEX needs to mount a full-bore effort to woo public opinion, which will be key, in my view.

More to come...

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