California’s CalAIM, Data Exchange Framework Spur Partnerships

July 3, 2024
The health information exchange Serving Communities Health Information Organization announces a collaboration with Central California Alliance for Health

California’s ongoing Medicaid transformation and its new Data Exchange Framework (DxF) are accelerating partnerships to enhance interoperability. 

In partnership with Dignity Health, SacValley MedShare recently announced it will extend its health data exchange services to 30 hospitals across the state. In addition, the Serving Communities Health Information Organization (SCHIO) health information exchange has announced a collaboration with Central California Alliance for Health. 

The Alliance is a regional Medi-Cal managed care health plan established in 1996 to improve access to health care for over 456,000 members in Mariposa, Merced, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

This partnership will enable Alliance Medi-Cal members and providers in all five Alliance-served counties to exchange health data between healthcare systems, enhancing care coordination and improving health outcomes. The collaboration ensures compliance with both the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) as well as the DxF programs, the organizations said.

Established in 1996, SCHIO has been designated as a California Qualified Health Information Organization (QHIO) to facilitate the secure exchange of health and social services information, assisting entities as they create and respond to information requests, receive the results of tests or referrals, and request notifications of admissions or discharges.

“Qualified Health Information Organizations create an accessible path for countless health and social services entities to participate in the Data Exchange Framework, providing access to actionable data across California’s entire health and social services system,” said Mark Ghaly, M.D., secretary of CalHHS, in a statement. 

With DxF requirements having become mandatory across California on January 31, 2024, the Alliance has chosen Santa Cruz-based SCHIO to assist its Medi-Cal providers in navigating what are expected to be the nation’s most rigorous data exchange policies. This collaboration is based on a health information exchange (HIE) model that enables most healthcare data to be securely shared via SCHIO.

“SCHIO makes data available to the Alliance and its partners to facilitate decision-making, meet data-sharing regulatory requirements, align with CalAIM, and ultimately improve the health outcomes of the populations that we collectively serve,” said Cecil Newton, chief information officer of Central California Alliance for Health, in a statement. “This arrangement is an extension of over six years of mutual commitment to offer healthcare organizations a better understanding of the new interoperability regulations and technology solutions to simplify care. We are looking forward to standardizing and streamlining Californians’ access to healthcare services.”

Aggregating clinical data from diverse sources, SCHIO said it reduces providers’ administrative and technology burdens, and helps healthcare organizations improve the quality of shared information to meet current and forthcoming health and wellness requirements.

“We are thrilled and grateful to be selected by the Alliance,” said Daniel Chavez, executive director of SCHIO, in a statement. “Through our close association with the Alliance in Santa Cruz County, we have established a relationship built on proven delivery, community and trust, making a lasting investment by helping healthcare organizations achieve greater interoperability and deliver an improved patient experience.”

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