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CA Powers Up $80M HIE to 'Create Value in the Data'

By Christopher Cheney  
   August 21, 2014

Cost Savings and Smarter Clinical Decisions
Feinberg says Cal INDEX officials have already begun to identify healthcare organizations that will be likely to pay subscription fees to gain access to the HIE's data, including 30 large accountable care organizations that have active relationships with Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross.

Lloyd Dean, CEO at San Francisco-based Dignity Health, says he is hopeful that Cal INDEX will not only be sustainable, but also fill a critical gap in efforts to contain the cost of healthcare in California.

"We believe that as the Cal INDEX program is scaled, it will create efficiencies that make it cost effective over the long term," Dean said this week.

"What's unsustainable is the status quo. Today, health care spending makes up 12% of California's GDP, and the healthcare industry is well behind other industries in terms of adopting cost-saving technologies. The bottom line is that we can't afford to wait to start implementing these integrated data-sharing programs."

He says Cal INDEX will initially focus on areas that are likely to improve quality of care and cut costs. "As more providers and payers join Cal INDEX and begin sharing information, we anticipate that we'll find more and more value in the data sets available."

"In the near term, we're looking for electronic health records that will help us determine which procedures or devices are the safest and result in the fewest readmissions. Studying such information will help us improve the patient experience and provide more cost-effective care over time."

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.

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