Merger May Revitalize California's Flagging Effort To Pool Medical Records

Kaiser Health News, January 11, 2017

The nonprofit California Integrated Data Exchange, launched by insurers Blue Shield of California and Anthem Inc. in 2014, intends to merge with the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange.

The nonprofit California Integrated Data Exchange, launched by insurers Blue Shield of California and Anthem Inc. in 2014, intends to merge with the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange. Together, they would have insurance claims and medical records of 16.7 million people.

This article first appeared January 10, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.

By Chad Terhune

After a sluggish start, the Cal INDEX medical database has agreed to a merger that would create one of the largest repositories of patient records in the country.

The nonprofit California Integrated Data Exchange, launched by insurers Blue Shield of California and Anthem Inc. with much fanfare in 2014, announced Tuesday that it intends to merge with the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange. Together, they would have insurance claims and medical records of 16.7 million people.

Obama administration veteran Claudia Williams, 53, will take the helm as chief executive on Feb. 1.

San Francisco-based Cal INDEX is an ambitious initiative to give hospitals and doctors a single place to get patient information culled from medical records and insurance claims. State leaders and other supporters say giving an emergency room or a doctor the ability to instantly access a patient's medical history can improve the quality of care, reduce medical errors and cut wasteful spending.

Kaiser Health News

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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