Aaron Spelling made millions with the many television shows he produced from the 1960s to 2006. Shows like The Love Boat, Dynasty, Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210 over almost five decades made Aaron his reported $500,000,000 net worth. Yet where does the money come from in producing television shows… it comes from the advertisements that are bought by companies to play during commercial time. And how do producers get these advertisers to buy commercial time during their show? They do it by providing DATA. Who is watching the show, what is their age, are they male or female, what are their interests, are they single, parents, etc.? By having this information, Aaron Spelling and his production company were able to target the perfect businesses with the perfect products to entice their viewing population. And these companies were more than happy to pay for advertising space during The Love Boat, Beverly Hills, 90210 or 7th Heaven, knowing they were speaking to the perfect audience.

It was with DATA that Aaron spelling was truly able to make his millions; okay and with some shows that were really stellar. Who didn’t like The Love Boat, or wasn’t forced to hear Brenda, Brandon and Dylan coming from the other room during the 90s with their teenage kids glued to the television. Data is important in many industries and this includes the health care industry. I would even go so far as to say it is VITAL in the health care industry. With data, patients are able to move from one doctor to another or one carrier to another in a more seamless manner. With data, doctors and providers of health services are able to better manage and care for their patient’s, whether they are long time patients or first time visitors. With data, carriers are able to see which doctors and hospitals are providing the best outcomes with the best price. All of this DATA can impact the bottom line of our health care system if used in the right way… and if integrated for ALL to use.

With this thought in mind, I participated in a press conference call with the CEOs of both Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California where they announced a historic initiative to improve patient healthcare; the creation of Cal INDEX.  Cal INDEX. The California Integrated Data Exchange, aka Cal INDEX, is a health information exchange (HIE) that aims at gathering health information on ALL Californians. Although an HIE is not new to the health care industry, the alliance between two major competing insurers makes this HIE one of a CalINDEX Logokind. And with this alliance, it also brings scale and capital that other HIEs have not had. Between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, Cal INDEX will initially provide subscribed physicians and nurses with secure, on-line access to approximately 9 million health information records – or nearly one-fourth of the state’s population.

Cal INDEX believes it will provide the following benefits to the California health environment:

  1. Improve the quality of care by providing clinicians with a unified statewide source of integrated patient information
  2. Provide patients with a seamless transition between health plans or across various healthcare professionals and hospitals
  3. Improve efficiency and reduce the cost of healthcare
  4. Encourage healthcare technology innovation
  5. Improve public health by providing de-identified data for medical research

These are lofty goals, but we at BeaconPath truly believe these goals can be accomplished if Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are able to gather the participation needed; which is participation from all doctors and providers of healthcare services across the state. And we believe it is in the best interest of these providers to participate… because at the end of the day, this data exchange and knowledge will benefit each of us, the patients of each provider. And if healthcare doesn’t have the patient as it’s number one priority, then I don’t know what the healthcare industry is here for.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield also believe that Cal INDEX can and will work. They are so confident they have backed it up with $80 million in funding over the next three years. Each company has given money, time and human capital to create Cal INDEX and will continue to bring it to completion. The team at BeaconPath is hopeful this initiative will work and we will be letting our carriers and provider contacts know that we think this health information exchange is something they all ought to be participating in. We truly believe that DATA, and specifically, shared DATA is one of the major components needed to truly fix our health care system.

If you would like to learn more about Cal INDEX Click Here.

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