Why CA Needs Better Data Exchange: Challenges, Impacts, and Policy Options for a 21st Century Health System

Prepared on behalf of the California Health Care Foundation

The efficient, effective and equitable delivery of care is vital to the well-being of all Californians and is necessary for a strong and vibrant economy. To achieve this state, information must be exchanged easily among medical, behavioral, social services and public health professionals to allow them to make informed decisions that impact the lives of every resident.

Today, access to this kind of critical information is limited. The fragmented health information exchange (HIE) ecosystem across California delivers inconsistent and incomplete solutions that don’t provide all the critical information needed to care for the state’s residents, don’t provide access to all the service providers who need data and don’t scale to provide state health care leaders with the access to data they need. Coupled with restrictive, confusing and ambiguous data exchange rules, the exchange environment does not and cannot adequately enable initiatives to improve care quality; enhance access to medical, social and public health services; reduce disparities; and lower costs for residents, counties and the state.

In “Why California Needs Better Data Exchange: Challenges, Impacts, and Policy Options for a 21st Century Health System,” a new white paper published by Jonah P. B. Frohlich and Eric I. Bartholet, managing directors, and Jonathan DiBello, consultant, Manatt Health, summarizes the results of over a dozen interviews conducted with health care leaders and stakeholders, along with supporting research and insights gained through a review of other state HIE programs. The report examines three key data exchange issues that need to be resolved to address the shortcomings of the current HIE environment in California:

  • Clinical data fragmentation
  • Exclusion of exchange sectors
  • Complex and onerous data exchange rules and regulations

To access the full report, please click here.

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