L.A. Care Health Plan Information Exchange Platform Links 21 Hospitals

Members covered by the L.A. Care Health Plan in Los Angeles are now benefiting from improved health information sharing with healthcare providers following the launch of a new health information exchange platform.

L.A. Care Health Plan (formerly known as Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity providing an accountable care program and other health plans (such as L.A. Care Covered, L.A. Care’s Healthy Kids and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan) for Los Angeles residents. Through its 6 health care plans, L.A. Care Health Plan provides coverage for more than 2 million individuals including some of the most vulnerable populations in the County, and is now the largest publicly operated health plan in the United States.

Last year, the health plan conducted a pilot with the eConnect information exchange platform supplied by Safety Net Connect. The eConnect platform enables users to provide real-time alerts on admissions, discharges, and transfers using the HL7 Admit Discharge Transfer Protocol.

The pilot was a success and in August 2015, L.A. Care Health Plan started rolling out the platform to high-volume hospitals throughout L.A. County. Now, just over a year later, L.A. Care Health Plan has announced that 21 hospitals are signed up and using the platform to obtain real-time data on health plan members.

Keith Matsutsuyu, CEO of Safety Net Connect said “Timely access to actionable data is the essential goal of most any health information technology, but a lack of interoperability between systems and organizations often makes that goal challenging, if not impossible.”

The platform will help with the coordination of patient care by providing efficient access to actionable data; in particular, the system will help with post-discharge management. It is hoped that hospitals signed up to use the platform will be able to solve many of the challenges associated with patient admissions, transfers, and discharges.

According to L.A. Care CEO John Baackes, the eConnect system “helps overcome connectivity barriers between the hospitals’ systems,” and will help to ensure that all health plan members benefit from better care co-ordination.

Hospitals in the County appreciate the value of the information exchange platform and the benefits it offers. Baackes said “Engaging twenty-one institutions in just over a year is a true testament to the value of this kind of data in improving outcomes for our hospital providers.”

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.