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Blue Shield of California Applauds State’s Health Information Exchange Mandate

Policy statement from Gary Cohen, Vice President of Government Affairs:

Blue Shield of California is thrilled that the California State Legislature has passed, and Governor Newsom has signed into law, a state budget for 2021-22 that mandates the sharing of complete patient records across the health care system. This is a giant step toward improved health outcomes and ensuring health equity for every person in our state.   

The need to improve health data sharing has never been more important, as we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. For years, health information has been siloed in disconnected electronic health record systems and even paper files. Yet, it is technologically feasible, as other states have done, to generate a single longitudinal view of each patient so all providers can offer the best care possible.

This new requirement for California’s healthcare providers and payers to securely exchange health information in real time should assure patients that their providers will know their entire health history and empower the system to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and create a seamless user experience. 

We thank Gov. Newsom, his Administration, Assemblymember Jim Wood, and the entire California State Legislature for their leadership in establishing this mandate.

As we work to create this important data sharing network before January 31, 2024, Blue Shield is committed to partnering with our state’s leaders to transform California’s health ecosystem for all.