The California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) this week launched a new online portal allowing vendors to sign California’s first-ever Data Sharing Agreement (DSA).
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The DSA is California’s first stop Data exchange frameworkan initiative to expand the exchange of health information between healthcare facilities, government agencies and social service programs starting in 2024.
Health care entities, including general acute care hospitals, physician organizations and medical groups, skilled nursing facilities, health service plans and disability insurers, Medi- Cal, clinical labs, and acute psychiatric hospitals are required to sign the DSA by Jan. 31. , 2023.
The Data exchange framework was established by the passage of Assembly Bill 133 in July 2021. The bill mandates data sharing for most health care providers in the state by January 2024 and requires providers to sign the finalized data sharing agreement by January 2023.
John Ohanian, chief data officer at the Center for Data Analytics and Innovation at CalHHS, highlighted the benefits of DSA and Data exchange framework on the health system.
“Signing the Data Sharing Agreement is an essential next step towards full implementation of the Data Exchange Framework by January 2024,” Ohanian said in a statement. “It’s time to make sure that every Californian, wherever they live, can trust that their doctors, pharmacies, emergency rooms, and social and social service providers can securely access critical patient information, no matter what. regardless of where they are stored, to provide safe, effective and comprehensive care.
CalHHS also provides a series of grants to support education of the data exchange framework, onboarding of signers to a Qualified Health Information Organization (QHIO), and other technical assistance to help signers respond. the requirements of the data exchange framework and to support the successful implementation of the data exchange framework.
To help DSA signatories understand their responsibilities, CalHHS will administer the Educational Initiative Grants in December. According to CalHHS, these grants will provide funding to nonprofit organizations representing signatories to educate and train organizations that will sign the DSA, including through webinars, training guides, or conference sessions.
To help DSA signatories cover the initial costs of connecting to a QHIO, CalHHS will administer QHIO Integration Grants beginning in early 2023 to provide funding to cover these initial costs.
To help DSA signatories implement the operational and technical changes required in their organizations to meet their responsibilities, CalHHS will administer Technical Assistance Grants beginning in early 2023 to provide funding to organizations that have signed the DSA to obtain operational and technical support for the implementation.
“California’s healthcare system can be extremely fragmented, requiring consumers to navigate complex systems and carry their own personal information such as medications, allergies or spoken languages from the doctor’s office to the pharmacy, to specialists and social service agencies,” Kiran Savage-Sangwan, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, said of the DSA.
“It leaves people frustrated, confused or worse, without the care they need. California’s new data sharing agreement will help change that, giving patients access to their own health information and the confidence that their data will follow them from provider to provider. We strongly support the state’s efforts to build a secure statewide health information exchange network and look forward to working with providers to ensure this new system promotes fairness. in health for all Californians.
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