Despite advancements in healthcare IT, many providers, especially those in behavioral health, struggle to communicate with each other and share important health data. California’s Health and Human Services (CalHHS) Data Exchange Framework aims to change that by boosting the secure exchange of health information among entities across the state.
What is the CalHHS Data Exchange Framework?
In 2021, the passage of AB 133 in California took a step toward breaking down health information siloes. With this legislation, CalHHS was directed to develop a data exchange framework (DxF) by July 1, 2022. This framework would include a single Data Sharing Agreement and a set of policies and procedures to control the exchange of electronic health information across the state.
Healthcare entities began to sign and execute this agreement in January 2023. They will be required to participate starting January 2024.
“The data exchange framework is not a new technology or centralized data repository; instead, it’s an agreement across health and human services systems and providers to share information safely. That means every health care provider can access the information they need to treat you quickly and safely; health care, behavioral health and social services agencies can connect to each other to deliver what Californians need to be healthy; and our public health system can better assess how to address the needs of all communities.”
Want an overview of this whole DxF and its goals? In July 2022, CalHHS released an executive summary, available via PDF.
What is the timeline for the Data Exchange Framework?
DxF includes several key dates:
- On July 1, 2022, the Data Sharing Agreement was finalized
- On January 31, 2023, the Data Sharing Agreement is to be signed by health and human services organizations that include general acute care hospitals, physician organizations and medical groups, skilled nursing facilities, health care service plans and disability insurers, clinical laboratories, and acute psychiatric hospitals.
- By January 31, 2024, most providers will be required to begin data exchange
- By January 31, 2026, any remaining providers must begin data exchange and sign the Data Sharing Agreement, including rehabilitation hospitals, state-run acute psychiatric hospitals, and nonprofit clinics with less than 10 providers.
As of December 2022, several policies and procedures remain to be finalized. These cover topics that include information blocking, auditing, technology requirements for exchange, real-time data exchange, and the qualified health information organization designation process.
CalHHS also plans to create a governance structure to oversee the state’s health data exchange, recommend policy changes, and keep state requirements aligned with federal law. This structure aims to be established in 2023.
The California governor and lawmakers agreed in the 2022-23 budget to invest $250 million in the adoption of data exchange. In December 2022, CalHHS announced the first grant recipients for these funds.
Whether you’re a behavioral health provider practicing in California or elsewhere in the United States, it can take a lot of time to keep up with regulatory and accreditation changes. Wouldn’t you rather spend more of that time on your clients?
BestNotes EHR software, created specifically behavioral health providers, includes automatic updates that takes care of these changes for you. Our team follows federal, state, and accrediting body changes to make sure our solutions—and you—are always up-to-date and compliant. Contact us to learn more, or schedule a free demo!