Closing the Gap in California’s Health Data Exchange

Necessary Investments and Funding Opportunities

Kate Ricker-Kiefert, Amelia Mayme Consulting
Lauren Block, Aurrera Health Group


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Note: A new version of the report was uploaded on June 24, 2022, to reflect the CDC’s release of a notice of funding opportunity.

Electronic data exchange within health care and across sectors is essential for effective care delivery and critical to addressing health and social needs, reducing health disparities, and improving outcomes. This year, California is implementing major initiatives like CalAIM (California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal) that require robust cross-sector data sharing to integrate the state’s siloed medical care, behavioral health, and social services systems.

In July 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law AB 133, which calls for the development and implementation of a statewide Health and Human Services Data Exchange Framework — consisting of a data sharing agreement, policies, and procedures — to govern the exchange of health information among health care entities and government agencies by January 31, 2024.

This paper outlines the technological capacity and funding needs of delivery system providers who must comply with AB 133. The authors identified the following categories of investments necessary for stakeholders to achieve robust data exchange interoperability:

  • One-time technical system and infrastructure investment
  • Technical system and infrastructure maintenance and operations
  • Policy and implementation support
  • Staffing and workforce

The paper also outlines federal funding streams, as well as anticipated remaining funding needs that will require targeted investments to close the gap in data exchange capabilities. Delivery system providers who historically received funding and implementation support have the fewest needs, while those historically excluded from such programs will require the greatest resources.

About the Authors

Lauren Block, MPA, is a managing principal for Medicaid Policy and Programs at Aurrera Health Group, a mission-driven national health policy and communications firm based in Sacramento. Kate Ricker-Kiefert, MS, is CEO of Amelia Mayme Consulting, a firm that provides health policy, operations, and technology consulting services for public and private sector clients.