Plans are set in motion by Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross to set up the nations largest information sharing network. Completion estimates for the project are very soon indeed.
The California Integrated Data Exchange
On August 5th, Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross, two of California’s biggest health insurers, announced plans to create what’s predicted to be the largest health information sharing network in the country.
The California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal Index) will attempt to connect EMRs from various doctors and hospitals and integrate them with claims data, allowing physicians to share information through a secure electronic system. The project organizers claim that these changes will help patients receive faster care and reduce the risk of mistakes by doctors who couldn’t access vital information. The network will also help to lower costs from unnecessary expenses such as duplicated tests.
Blue Shield and Anthem have plans to contribute $80 million to Cal Index over the next three years, after which Cal Index will be funded through subscription fees from the various participating insurers and providers.
Cal Index is expected to be fully functional by the end of this year and it’ll contain the health records of almost 9 million patients of Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross. By the end of 2017, the network is expected to include 30 large medical provider organizations.
Maintaining privacy is one of the biggest priorities for Cal Index. All federal and state privacy laws will be followed and the system will rely on modern techniques and technologies in order to fully protect patient data. Patients and providers can opt out of the information exchange with no impact on their insurance status or eligibility whatsoever.
Making the move toward technology and electronic systems has been a tedious process for the healthcare industry. Normally, the systems used by insurers, patients, and providers don’t communicate with one another, making it difficult to create a large, unified network. Cal Index is a major step toward creating such a network.Cal Index can help medical providers treat patients more quickly while lowering costs and producing better patient outcomes.
Author: Lauren Daniels