Data Sharing Agreement: Spotlight on Qualified Health Information Organizations (QHIOs)

This month, the CalHHS Center for Data Insights and Innovation (CDII) held two online events highlighting its upcoming release of applications for organizations to become QHIOs. QHIOs will be designated by the State as having demonstrated their ability to meet Data Exchange Framework (DxF) requirements and help all signatories of the Data Sharing Agreement (DSA)—including providers, health plans, social service and public health agencies—successfully participate in the DxF. Manifest MedEx is fully committed to becoming a QHIO this year to support all our current and future participants in meeting their requirements and benefiting from opportunities under the DSA.

The first event was a “QHIO Town Hall,” for which CDII invited all members of its two stakeholder advisory committees to join as panelists. On behalf of Manifest MedEx, our Chief Information Officer, Jason Buckner, and Director of Health Policy, Felix Su, (who co-presented our recent webinar overview of the DxF/DSA) participated in the Town Hall discussion. We emphasized the importance for QHIOs to be connected to national networks that can send and retrieve clinical information from multiple EHR sources. We also stressed the need for the DSA to require hospitals to send ADT alerts to QHIOs, so these important notifications can reach care teams beyond those covered under current federal rules. More detailed recommendations from Manifest MedEx may be found in our submitted public comments on the draft DSA Policies and Procedures.

CDII also held the February installment of its “Information Is Power” webinar series, titled “DxF Data Sharing Agreement Fact vs. Fiction, DxF Grant Applications, & QHIO Applications.” During this webinar, CDII staff dispelled misconceptions about the DxF/DSA, such as the DSA signing requirement being subject to delay or negotiation. (In fact, state law requires major categories of health care organizations to have executed the DSA by January 31, 2023. The DSA Signing Portal remains open for mandatary signatories that haven’t yet done so to fulfill this requirement.) CDII also clarified that while joining a QHIO can enable signatories to comply with the DSA, those signatories must still take action to abide by DSA requirements—for instance, making sure they are contributing all required information for QHIOs to share on their behalf.

The webinar also previewed three rounds of State funding that will be made available to support signatories with implementing the DSA, including QHIO Onboarding grants.

Visit the CDII’s website to view additional recordings and materials for more information!