The pMD Blog

Welcome to the
pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

Why California is Leading the Way in Health Care: 10 Things to Know about Cal INDEX

The Cal INDEX and IEHIE announced in January 2017 a planned merger that will create one of the nation's most comprehensive nonprofit health information exchanges (HIEs). Currently, Cal INDEX is connecting doctors, nurses, and hospitals, and allowing them to share patient information to change the medical field in more ways than one.

Here is a list of the top 10 things you need to know about the Cal INDEX and what the new merger means for everyone:

1. What is the Cal INDEX and IEHIE merger about?
Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross came together to create the largest Health Information Exchange (HIE) effort to date, which is the Cal INDEX; an “independent, non-profit organization developing a statewide, next generation HIE.” Cal INDEX is an online database, available to all providers and insurers who contribute clinical data, that stores electronic patient records of California residents. The merger with IEHIE is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017 and will operate as a tax-exempt public benefit corporation under a new name.

2. What do Cal INDEX and IEHIE stand for?
California Integrated Data Exchange and Inland Empire Health Information Exchange.

3. Who is affected by the Cal INDEX + IEHIE merger?
The new HIE will combine the 11.7 million claims records from Cal INDEX (Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross enrolled patients) with the 5 million clinical patient records of IEHIE and its 150 participating partners.

4. Who does Cal INDEX + IEHIE benefit?
The Cal INDEX website claims that three main groups will benefit from this new HIE: providers, individuals, and researchers.

5. What is the Cal INDEX + IEHIE merger offering?
This new HIE offers providers a comprehensive view of a patient’s health information across multiple medical history records and insurance carriers. It also provides physicians with electronic tools to manage patient care and giving them the health information they need, whenever they need it.

Patients have the opportunity to receive safer, higher quality care. Their health data will be available to health care professionals in emergencies, which is especially important in cases where patients don’t have the ability to communicate this information. Patients will also be able to avoid repeated, unnecessary tests and duplicate or dangerous drug interactions because that data will be accessible to their caregivers.

Researchers will have a large source of de-identified patient data for medical research, encouraging health care technology and innovation and enabling an improvement among public health institutions.

6. How is Cal INDEX being funded?
Cal INDEX is privately funded by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, combining $80 million in seed funding for their first three years of operation. After the initial first three years, Cal INDEX will be a subscription based service for participating providers and insurers.

7. Privacy issues
Privacy issues are an all too common concern these days, especially when it comes to new technology that contains sensitive and personal information. Anthem Blue Cross itself accidentally posted the social security numbers of about 24,500 doctors in California. However, Cal INDEX advertises using “advanced and up-to-date security systems, including physically secured systems, complex passwords, and modern encryption techniques.” There are some skeptics out there who still have privacy concerns, and Cal INDEX is trying to address those concerns in a few ways. They are restricting access of patient information to only providers directly related to the patient and prohibiting the download or printing of patient information.

8. Who has access to Cal INDEX + IEHIE records?
The new HIE records will be accessible to any subscribed health official directly related to the patient. This includes the patient’s primary doctors and nurses, as well as any emergency room personnel that are caring for the patient.

9. Who is on board with Cal INDEX so far?
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California members will be automatically enrolled in Cal INDEX. Dignity Health has also signed on adding their 32 participating California hospitals. St. Joseph Hoag Health joined up with Cal INDEX in December of 2016.  If more hospitals, providers, and insurers participate, Cal INDEX will continue to significantly grow, especially now with the new IEHIE merger in place.

10. Can I opt out of Cal INDEX?
Please visit the Cal INDEX website at for additional opt-out information.

5G ACA Account Management accurate coding ACI adoption Advancing Care Information Advice AHCA AHRQ AI Alternative Payment Model Amazon S3 Android API Apple appointment reminders Artificial Intelligence arts Audit Award Bay Area BCRA Benefits Best Place to Work Best Practices Big Data Billing Billing & Collections Billing Service Billing Services bootcamp BPCI BPTW Bundled Payment Model Bundled Payments Business relationships Care Communities care coordination Care Navigation Care Team Career Fair CDC Charge Capture Charge Capture App Charge Capture Software Charge Capture Solution Charge Capture Statistics Charge codes Charge Lag Charge Reconciliation CHIP CIO Claims Clinical Communication clinical data Clinical Data Registry Clinically integrated network Cloud CMS cms regulations Coding Collaboration Communication Company Culture Conferences Connected Health Record contact practice Coronavirus COVID COVID-19 COVID19 Cross-functional culture custom reports Customer Interaction customer relations customer service customer success customer support Customers Cyber Security cybersecurity Developer DHHS Diagnosis codes Dialysis discharge instructions Doctor EHR elderly Electronic Charge Capture Eligibility EMR Encryption End-to-End Platform epidemic Expansion FDA FHIR Flu fundamentals gamification Gen Z GI GI Outlook Goals group messaging Health Care Health Care Technology Health Care Web Health Care. Health Care IT health data Health Information Exchange Health Record Healthcare Healthcare Data healthcare interface healthcare interface integration healthcare software HIE HIPAA HIPAA Compliance hipaa compliant communication hipaa compliant communication platform HIPAA-Compliant Hiring HL7 Holidays Home dialysis Home Health Hospital Census Hospital Communication humanity IA ICD-10 ICD-11 Immunizations Implementation Improvement Activities in-app calling inclusive software incorrect billing increase revenue injury rehabilitation innacurate coding Instant capture Integration interface interoperability iOS iOS 8 iOS7 iPad iPhone iPhone 6 IT Lead Generation length of stay LGBTQIA Long Term Care LTC Machine learning MACRA Medaxiom Medical Billers Medical Billing Medical Billing & Collections medical billing denials and solutions Medical claims Medical Coding medical coding accuracy medical coding quality Medical Errors medical practice revenue Medical Record Medical Software Medicare Mental Health Mentorship Messaging Messaging with Patients MGMA MIPS MIPS Registry mobile Mobile App Mobile Charge Capture Mobile EHR Mobile Health Mobile Messaging Mobile Payments Mobile security Mobile Software Mobile Technology Mobile telehealth Modern Healthcare Native App natural language processing Network new feature new features news NIH nlp OCM onboarding Oncology Care Model operations opioid crisis Pandemic Parenting Partnership partnerships Patient Patient access Patient Adherence Patient App Patient Care Patient Chat Patient chat routers Patient Communication patient data Patient Engagement patient experience patient experience cycle Patient Generated Health Data Patient Handoff Software Patient Information Patient Messaging patient outcomes Patient payments patient portal Patient Record Patient Safety Patient satisfaction Patient Simulators patient support Patient Visits Patient-Centric PCP Performance bonus PHI Phishing Scams Physician Physician burnout pmd pMD Pro pMD Team population health Population Health Management Post-COVID PQRS Practice Management Pregnancy Press Release Product Development Productivity products Promoting Interoperability Protected Health Information QCDR QPP Quality Data quality reporting Quality Scoring Ransomware RCM Recruiting Recruitment Reimbursement remote jobs Remote Work Reporting reports Residents Responsibility revenue cycle management ROI Rural communities Ryuk Sales Secure Communication Secure Data Secure Messaging Secure Messaging Video Secure Text Messaging Secure Video Secure Video Chat Security Audit self care seniors sexual orientation and gender identity SF Biz Times SMB SNF SNOMED-CT SOC 2 software vendor SOGI Spear Phishing Specialty Care success support TCM TDM Team Team culture Teamwork technology telehealth telehealth reporting Telemedicine telemedicine in long term care Telemedicine skilled nursing facilities Teletherapy Text Messaging texting Thanksgiving Therapeutic Drug Monitoring time-based billing training transgender Travel Upgrades UX Design VA vaccination records vaccinations Vaccine Value-based care Video Calling Video chat video communication video conferencing Virtual Care Virtual Visit voice calling voice memos WannaCry Wearable Device wearing many hats Web App wellness wfh Wireless Work From Home Work Life Balance Workflow optimization Workplace Culture