“The state decided that neither one of them would be selected and told the two organizations to put something together jointly,” Dauner said. “That proved difficult to do and so the state said: OK, we'll go on our own and create a state entity on our own.”
The failed talks between CalRHIO and CAeHC ended last week.
“I think that the philosophies and the approaches of the two organizations were different and the drivers behind the organizations were different,” Dauner said. “CalRHIO was built on the philosophy that the organization would serve as a statewide data exchange and provide an infrastructure to help providers to do that. We had an agreement with a company called Medicity, and we saw CalRHIO in addition being a policy-supportive organization to fulfill the work outlined in the federal law.”
CalRHIO had contracted with Medicity to provide exchange services technology.
Jonah Frohlich, deputy secretary of health information technology at the California Health and Human Services Agency, which was overseeing the selection process, said in a written statement that his department received seven proposals overall to its Aug. 25, 2009, formal request to form the state exchange oversight organization. Two scored “significantly higher” than the rest, but did not meet all state criteria.
“In November after detailed discussions with both organizations, they were asked to explore submitting a joint proposal and they agreed to a facilitated process with CHHS that would be led by board members from both organizations,” Frohlich said. A joint proposal was expected to be delivered Monday, he said.
At deadline, Frohlich had not responded to a question about what California's next steps will be to designate a health information exchange governance organization.
Dauner said that since CalRHIO had the infrastructure in place and had the aim from its founding to serve as the statewide exchange, when CalRHIO's independent bid and its negotiations for a joint venture both failed, “we at CalRHIO voted to wind down the company,” Dauner said.
A written statement on the CalRHIO Web site said the board is “honoring our commitment to the state not to compete with a new governance entity” and pledged to be “an active partner with the state in working toward a successful conclusion for the governance of HIE services in California.”
CAeHC, meanwhile, will apply to become a regional extension center for health IT under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to a statement on its Web site. It will be working in partnership with the National Coalition for Health Integration, a not-for-profit corporation founded by Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Los Angeles-based billionaire, physician-entrepreneur and pharmaceutical manufacturer. The coalition aims to speed data-sharing among electronic health-record systems.
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