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State Launches Health Information Exchange Gateway to Collect Health Data

As people across the country witnessed the historic launch of Obamacare and a new affordable health insurance marketplace, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) quietly launched a new system that will collect clinical health data to help state, local and federal officials perform critical research and surveillance to support public health programs.

CDPH CIO Nabil Fares Photo courtesy of CDPH Public Affairs

On October 1, CDPH launched its Health Information Exchange (HIE) Gateway as a single system for data submission to state public health programs. According to department officials, the new system represents an unprecedented opportunity to collect and synchronize data in an effort to fight infectious diseases and provide researchers with critical data to help find solutions for many potentially deadly illnesses.

The CDPH HIE Gateway currently has functions to report immunizations and infectious disease laboratory reports but will have more functions, such as childhood blood lead testing results and cancer case reports. Eventually, the gateway will interface with the department’s 47 registries that contain public health information ranging from cancer, influenza to West Nile virus. The system has also been designed to interface with databases run by the California Department of Justice and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation while also serving as a bridge between regional Health Information Exchanges currently in operation across California.

The CDPH developed the HIE Gateway as a way to allow providers and hospitals to reach their "meaningful use" public health objectives of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program which was authorized via the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. Fulfilling all of the requirements for the EHR Incentive Program qualifies eligible providers, hospitals and critical access hospitals for incentive payments.

Prior to the CDPH HIE Gateway, immunization records were sent to the California Immunization Registry (CAIR) from the Northern California, Greater Sacramento, Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, LA-Orange and Inland Empire regions. If providers have already registered with CAIR, the information will be migrated automatically to the Gateway.

The CDPH HIE system and all of California’s current HIE systems are subject to the privacy and safety requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005.

According to its website, the CDPH is working with the California eHealth Initiative from the Department of Health Care Services and the California Health e-Quality program from Regional Extension Centers in developing HIE technology.

Since the new system was launched at the beginning of this month, more than 200 providers and hospitals have registered to submit data.

Providers and hospitals that want to register and send information to the CDPH HIE Gateway can visit

This article was originally published in the Roundup newsletter on October 31, 2013.