The California Integrated Data Exchange (Cal INDEX) and Inland Empire Health Information Exchange (IEHIE) on Jan. 10 announced a merger that will create California’s largest and most comprehensive nonprofit health information exchanges (HIEs).

Cal INDEX is an independent, nonprofit organization that collects clinical data from health care providers and health insurers and combines it into a single patient record. Their technology platform provides hospitals and physicians with real-time access to a patient’s health care information.

Inland Empire HIE works with California county hospitals, medical centers, medical groups, clinics, IPAs, physician practices, health plans, public health, and other health care providers to align providers and patients to securely exchange health information.

The merger is expected to be completed within the first quarter of 2017 and will be a tax-exempt public benefit corporation.

Claudia Williams, former White House technology senior adviser, will lead the new organization as CEO, effective Feb. 1.

The creation of this new statewide health information exchange by IEHIE and Cal INDEX is an important milestone in transforming California’s health care system into a coordinated system that delivers higher quality and more efficient care to all Californians,” said Bradley Gilbert, chairman of the IEHIE Board of Directors.

Mark Savage, chairman of the Cal INDEX Board of Directors and director of Health Information Technology Policy and Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families, added, “Claudia is the ideal candidate to lead this new entity. She is a strategic and transformational leader with national experience managing and scaling health information exchanges. With Claudia, California’s statewide HIE gets the rare combination of breadth and depth.”

Williams has more than 25 years of health care technology experience, most recently as senior adviser for Health Innovation and Technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to working in the White House, Williams was the director of HIE for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

“Claudia’s track record of developing strategic partnerships with technology, provider, consumer and health plan leaders will be invaluable as Cal INDEX and Inland Empire HIE add new partners and bring value to providers and patients throughout the state,” said Gilbert.

“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to lead the new organization and collaborate with our partners to improve patient care for all Californians,” Williams said. “Our goal is to deliver compelling products and services that support California’s hospitals, providers and patients in their efforts to improve care coordination, reduce inefficiencies, address gaps in care, and enhance patient experience.”

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