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California to Offer Rural Providers Direct Accounts

January 3, 2014
by David Raths
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First 1,000 participating rural providers to be offered free accounts in 2014

Recognizing the need for low-cost health information exchange options for rural providers, California Health eQuality (CHeQ) has created California Direct with the goal of enabling ambulatory providers, clinics, and hospitals to exchange data with inexpensive Direct accounts.

CHeQ, a program of the UC Davis Health System Institute for Population Health Improvement, announced that the first 1,000 participating providers would be offered free accounts in 2014.  Interested urban providers may subscribe to the service for a small fee.

CHeQ said that these Direct accounts will be managed by Axesson, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based health information service provider, which received a grant to manage California Direct.

The Direct exchange method has the potential to improve care coordination, CHeQ said, by enabling providers with or without an EHR to securely share protected health information with care team members across organizational boundaries and:

  • transmit referrals and care summaries securely, consistently, and electronically send alerts to all providers caring for a patient upon hospital admission,  discharge, and transfer;
  • enable patient access to their information electronically connect to trusted health information exchanges; and
  • meet meaningful use requirements.

Axesson will begin accepting enrollment to California Direct later this month.  For more information, visit