California insurers announce largest Health Information Exchange in the US

Today, health insurers Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross announced the creation of a statewide database of patient medical records in California called Cal INDEX. When it launches later this year, it will be the country’s largest health information exchange, or HIE. The exchange is set to disseminate patient’s longitudinal medical files, and will initially include 9 million patient files. Patients will need to affirmatively opt-out, as their files will automatically be included in the exchange. Patients will not initially be able to view their own health files in the exchange.

Details are still emerging about Cal INDEX. It is unknown if patients will have the ability to segregate mental health records from, for example, their dental records. However, given the comprehensive nature of the records in the database, this does not appear to be likely. Current media reports state that the Cal INDEX will be extremely comprehensive and include diagnoses, lab tests, physician and hospital visits, and procedures.


Key HIE privacy tips and resources:

We will be posting much more about Cal INDEX as more details become available.

Articles about CalINDEX: