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Merger Will Create Nation's Largest Health Information Exchange

News  |  By Doug Desjardins  
   January 16, 2017

The Inland Empire Health Information Exchange and California Integrated Data Exchange combine will include more than 16 million insurance claims and medical records.

This story originally appeared in California Healthfax.

In what could be the largest exchange of its kind in the U.S., the Inland Empire Health Information Exchange (IEHIE) and the California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal INDEX) announced plans to merge in a partnership that would create an exchange with more than 16.7 million insurance claims and medical records.

The merger plan is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017—pending regulatory approval—with former Obama Administration Advisor Claudia Williams leading the new group as CEO.

The merger will pool the resources of Cal INDEX and its 11.7 million records with the 5 million records of the Inland Empire exchange. The new exchange will be named when the merger is finalized.

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

"The creation of this new statewide, health information exchange is an important milestone in transforming California's healthcare system into a coordinated system that delivers higher quality and more efficient care to all Californians," said IEHIE Chairman Bradley Gilbert and Cal INDEX Chairman Mark Savage in a joint statement.

Williams will take over as CEO of the new exchange on February 1. She most recently served as senior advisor for Health Innovation and Technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and director of HIE for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

"Our goal is to deliver compelling products and services that support California hospitals, providers, and patients in their efforts to improve care coordination, reduce inefficiencies, address gaps in care, and enhance patient experience," said Williams.

The merger would create the largest health information exchange in the United States in terms of volume, eclipsing the Indiana Health Information Exchange and its 12 million patient records.

Cal INDEX was formed in 2014 with $80 million in seed money from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California. Exchange participants include Dignity Health and St. Joseph Hoag Heath, which became its newest member in December 2016.

IEHIE includes four public health information exchanges that connect providers in 18 counties in the state. Participants include more than 50 hospitals and health systems including Dignity Health, Prime HealthCare, and Universal Health Services.

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