California HIE Comes Under Scrutiny from Consumer Watchdog Group | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

California HIE Comes Under Scrutiny from Consumer Watchdog Group

December 22, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
A consumer watchdog group is cautioning consumers in California to steer clear of the upstart Cal INDEX, a health information exchange (HIE) being set up by two payers. 
Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit organization, says California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal INDEX), which came to life in August with seed funding from Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross, is potentially putting protected health information (PHI) at risk. The watchdog advises consumers to opt-out of the HIE until the payers answer questions on its privacy policy. 
“If the exchange will do so much to benefit our health care, Cal INDEX should make that case and ask us to opt in,” John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director, said in a statement. “Instead, Blue Cross and Blue Shield are telling enrollees they can opt out during the busy holiday season when we are all distracted.  Worse, Cal INDEX fails to clearly explain its privacy protections and how it will operate. Consumers can’t make an informed decision based on what they’ve said so far.”
The advocacy group says that the payers should clarify to patients on data sharing practices, what kind of information will be included, which providers will be participating, and a series of other questions. The payers have sent messages to patients about the HIE and letting them know they can opt out. Simpson says that patients should do this until the payers answer those privacy questions. 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Circulation, Buoy Health Collaborate on Integrated Platform for Patient Transportation

Boston-based startup Circulation Health, a ride-ordering exchange that coordinates medical transportation logistics using Lyft and other transportation partners, is partnering with Buoy Health, also based in Boston, to integrate their platforms to provide patients with an end-to-end healthcare experience.

HITRUST Provides NIST Cybersecurity Framework Certification

The Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), security and privacy standards development and accreditation organization, announced this week a certification program for the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (Framework).

Report: Interoperability in NHS England Faces Similar Barriers as U.S. Healthcare

Electronic patient record interoperability in NHS England is benefiting patient care, but interoperability efforts are facing barriers, including limited data sharing and cumbersome processes falling outside of the clinician workflow, according to a KLAS Research report.