California Health and Human Services

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CalHHS Statement

Statement from California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on California’s First-Ever Statewide Health and Human Services Data Exchange Framework

The New Data Exchange Framework Will Accelerate and Expand the State’s Progress on Whole Person Care, Increase Patients’ Access to Their Health Information, and Improve Californians’ Care Experience

“Today, the California Health & Human Services Agency finalized the state’s first-ever Health and Human Services Data Exchange Framework, a single data sharing agreement and common set of policies and procedures that will govern and require the exchange of health information among health care entities and government agencies in California beginning in 2024.

Our state has big, bold plans for transforming care, expanding coverage, and improving connections between health care and social services. But to be truly successful, initiatives from CalAIM to the Master Plan for Aging will require a reliable, secure, trusted system of data exchange so patients and providers can connect to the health information they need, wherever they are and whenever they need it.

The adoption of this final Data Exchange Framework is an extremely big deal for the health and well-being of all Californians. Imagine your loved one ends up in an emergency room outside of their community with providers they don’t know. Or a doctor wants to refer a homeless patient with a chronic health issue to a shelter or behavioral treatment program. Or an older relative is experiencing a mental health crisis and needs urgent care. Wouldn’t you want those treating someone in your family or community to know their history, their medical needs, and their medications? The Data Exchange Framework moves our state to a place where every Californian—no matter where we live—can walk into a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a county social service agency or an emergency room and be assured providers can access the information they need to care for them safely, knowing their data will remain private and secure and that all of their health and social needs will be met.

The development of California’s new Data Exchange Framework was set in motion with the passage last year of AB 133 (2021), which directed CalHHS to work with a Stakeholder Advisory Group representing the health care sector, government agencies, and social service programs to develop a set of rules governing the secure exchange of health information by July 1, 2022. Starting in 2024, these entities will be required to exchange data or provide access to health information to and from each other in real time for treatment, payment, or health care operations.

While health information exchanges are already up and running in many parts of the state, they do not yet reach every Californian—or every corner of our health and social service systems. The state’s new Data Exchange Framework will help change that, establishing rules of the road for data sharing that will increase patients’ access to their health information and give all providers a fuller view of their patients’ health—so every part of our health system can work together to connect Californians to the resources they need, from housing and healthy food to social support.

On behalf of CalHHS and the more than a dozen state departments that contributed to this effort, I want to thank all of the stakeholders involved for their engagement and for their future coordination in moving this important initiative forward.”

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