The issue of competition has significantly hampered healthcare reform efforts in the United States. Providers and payers (health insurers) have historically rejected the open exchange of data for their member and patient populations, fearing that access to their data could contribute to consumers opting to use a competitor’s services instead and providers opting to expand into the insurance industry.
Cal INDEX is an independent, non profit organization formed in August 2014 by two independent private investors (Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross) to address the major unmet medical need of a statewide health data exchange. Cal INDEX will launch with approximately 9 million health information records from the initial two health plans combined members. Cal INDEX is one of the largest statewide health data exchanges in the U.S., and is open to any health data contributor.
Though normally competitors in the health insurance market in California, executives at Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross realized that optimizing revenue, reducing costs, and improving the quality of patient care using only their internal data was becoming increasingly difficult.