The California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal INDEX) announced plans on August 5th to develop a health information exchange (HIE) for the state of California. California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal INDEX) is “an independent, not-for-profit organization that is developing a statewide, next-generation health information exchange (HIE).”
Funded through seed money provided by Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross, HIE, essentially, is a statewide electronic data network which will include all of the health data and pertinent information of enrolled patients. Patient records will be entered into the database to provide healthcare providers and health insurers with important clinical information. Physicians, nurses and hospitals state-wide, will be allowed to share patients’ health information with the ultimate goal of helping to improve care for all. The benefit to the patient according to the Cal INDEX is that the medical community will have tools to better communicate with each other.
HIE: What You Should Know?
The eventual hope for this exchange is that given the extra support of the database, medical workers will be able to provide patients with much higher quality care. The result will be one of the largest exchanges of its kind and if successful could be a model for other states. In a press release statement on August 5th, Cal INDEX stated:
[We] will adhere to privacy and security standards established by federal and state entities. The Cal INDEX system is highly secure, using advanced and up-to-date security systems including physically secured systems, complex passwords and modern encryption techniques.
However, if a patient wishes to opt out, choosing not to share health information with health providers or health plans on the exchange, s/he can decide not to participate in Cal INDEX without negative ramifications. No patient, according to Cal INDEX, who chooses to opt out of the database, ‘will be denied medical care by a health care provider or have his or her insurance eligibility affected.’ Supporters of HIE, like Paul Markovich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Shield of California , say this can only benefit the patient and the health care system as a whole. In a statement released to Cal INDEX, Markovich said
Bridgeport: Your Resource for Health Info
Cal INDEX expects to be fully functional by the end of 2014. As usual, Bridgeport Benefits is here as a resource for you during this, such an evolutionary time in the health care industry. We aim not only to provide you with better group plan options, but also to provide updates on any and all information on the new HIE database as it happens. As the information is disseminated, we will bring it you in real time. Cal INDEX seeks to improve the statewide healthcare system and we, as a part of an evolving industry, have not finished improving. Bridgeport Benefits strives to offer optimal group benefits for your needs as well remaining a constant resource for benefits information.