Tuesday, March 07, 2006

CALRHIO SUMMIT III

Although I was unable to attend the Summit III of CALRHIO, I was encouraged to see that the State of California was represented by Cindy Ehnes. I had a chance to review her presentation, most of which I heartily agree. Having been at this task now for about 15 months in the Inland Empire, and having just concluded our first Regional Meeting, several things became apparent at our meeting, which might influence development of health data exchanges. Providers want data available from portals. EMR is disruptive technolog that will take longer to plan and implement. Portals are relatively easy to design and operate. Many labs already utilize this technology and any vendors are marketing a variety of portals.
They already use common and often secure protocols.

Ms Ehnes comprehensive and global approach to RHIOs brought in a lot of peripheral issues, with politically correct statements about consumerism and cultural sensitivity, which of course are inherent in health care. All public and private entities must have access to this data system. Perhaps she is suggesting it be a multilanguage portal system. HIT certainly is able to accomodate those needs.

I believe California is too large to develop one RHIO, and most data exchanges and health care encounter occur within a relatively small geographic area. Most providers would not want to be dependent on a state run system, rather preferring to develop their own, perhaps with county and/or state bond issues, and loans. Grants take forever to develop and fund and favor strongly organizational hierarchies, of which we have enough.

I believe county governments need to become stakeholders to offer a link between private and pubic entities. From my understanding public health clinics have major problems communicating with their own county regional medical centers. I don't think the state is in a position to provide expertise or examples of how to make this system work. Rather private enterprises could enable the state to become part of the private system rather than running it's own arcane system. While most public funding is tied to grants, and legislation which offers long term institutional stability, it moves very slowly.

Ms Ehnes showed a slide with some figures quoted of 200 million dollars and 600 million dollars in loans. Has this been submitted to the legislature, and has CMA been informed about these possibilities??


We also need to bring the major payors to the table at regional levels....a task that is quite difficult.

It's time to stop talking and start moving.

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