April 12, 2023
Assemblymember Phil Ting
Chair, Assembly Committee on Budget 1021 O Street, Suite 8230
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator Nancy Skinner
Chair, Senate Committee on Budget 1020 N Street, Room 502
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Data Exchange Framework Proposed Trailer Bill Language
Dear Assembly and Senate Budget Committee chairs,
On behalf of Connecting for Better Health, we thank you for your leadership on
advancing California’s Data Exchange Framework. The proposed Trailer Bill Language from the Center for Data Insights and Innovation (“the Center”) published February 24, 2023, will make needed changes to California law to grant the Center the authority needed to set up a Data Exchange Framework governing board and continue to refine the Data Sharing Agreement and its policies and procedures.
Connecting for Better Health is a coalition representing diverse health care organizations and leaders including consumers, providers, and health plans, that supports the advancement of health data exchange policy in California. Our vision is that every Californian and their care team have the information and insights they need to make health care seamless, high quality, and affordable. A robust Data Exchange Framework is key to advancing this vision, and we appreciate your leadership in moving stakeholder conversations forward on how best to improve California law on the subject. We urge the legislature and the Center for Data Insights and Innovation to consider our proposed recommendations and amendments below that would clarify the required signatories to the Data Sharing Agreement; grant the Center clear statutory authority to interpret state law and issue new rules and regulations; and require a formal mechanism for engaging
state agencies and other entities like qualified health information organizations in advisory groups, among other needed changes. We believe these changes strengthen the proposed language and provide a clearer path forward to encourage entities to sign the Data Sharing Agreement, promote transparent state agency and stakeholder engagement, and allow additional changes to be made to the Data Sharing Agreement and its Policies and Procedures.
Specifically, we recommend the Committee make the following changes:
- Include references to both health and social services information, to reinforce the intent of the Data Exchange Framework to take a whole-person approach to data sharing.
- Provide clear definitions and references for the entities required to sign and share data under the Data Sharing Agreement, in particular leveraging other legal definitions to define required signatories.
- Set new dates for the requirement to sign the Data Sharing Agreement.
- Grant clear authority to the Center to add additional categories of entities to the required list of signatories to the Data Sharing Agreement, and clear authority to promulgate regulations and conduct investigations in relation to the Data Sharing Agreement and its policies and procedures.
- Reduce the number of representatives on the proposed Data Exchange Board, and clarify the intent of establishing the board in advancing California’s health care access, equity, affordability, public health and quality programs and goals, including California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (“CalAIM”).
- Call on the Center to establish a cross-agency task force comprised of representatives from state agencies to coordinate funding and policy strategies related to data sharing, and a Qualified Health Information Advisory Group to provide recommendations on technical standards and policies and procedures affecting the qualified health information organizations that will serve as data sharing intermediaries for signatories to the Data Sharing Agreement.
To that end, please find included below the signature line our recommendations indicated in red for amendments to the Health and Safety Code, based on the Center’s proposed Trailer Bill Language published February 24, 2023.
We thank you for your leadership and consideration of these amendments.
Connecting for Better Health America’s Physician Groups Blue Shield of California
California Association of Health Information Exchanges California Black Health Network
Michigan Health Information Network
Serving Communities Health Information Organization Synclarity Consulting
Velatura Public Benefit Corporation Zen Healthcare IT
CC: The Honorable Members, Assembly Budget Committee
The Honorable Members, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
Scott Ogus, Deputy Staff Director, Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Teri Boughton, Consultant, Senate Health Committee
Jason Sisney, Budget Director, Assembly Speaker
Christian Griffith, Consultant, Assembly Budget Committee Andrea Margolis, Consultant, Assembly Budget Committee Kristene Mapile, Assembly Health Committee
Richard Figueroa, Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Governor Angela Pontes, Deputy Legislative Secretary, Office of the Governor John Ohanian, Director, Center for Data Insights and Innovation DeeAnne McCallin, Deputy Director, Data Exchange Framework