February 27, 2013 11:37 ET

California Announces Addition of Alaska to Western States Consortium Governance Body

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Feb 27, 2013) - The California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII), announced today that the state of Alaska joined the Western States Consortium (WSC) Governance Body, becoming the latest participant in a formal governing process that establishes policies and procedures that enable the secure transfer of electronic health information among states.

States participating in the WSC now include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

"The addition of Alaska further demonstrates our success in creating a multi-state governing body that is able to address the widely divergent needs among participating states," said Cassie McTaggart, Chief of Health Information Policy, CalOHII, who represents California in the WSC.

Formation of the WSC was made possible by a federal grant from the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in November 2011. The grant funds logistical support for collaboration among participating states on mechanisms to address governance and technical barriers to interstate exchange of vital patient information among unaffiliated health care professionals.  In 2012 California and Oregon tested and demonstrated various technical approaches developed by the WSC members, including use of Direct Project specifications.

The addition of Alaska demonstrates the scalability of the WSC's approach to multi-state governance.

About CalOHII

The CalOHII supports the CHHS's health information exchange initiatives, oversees the collaborative statewide development and implementation of privacy and security policy for the electronic exchange of health information, enforces state law mandating the confidentiality of medical information and ensures uniform and cost effective HIPAA implementation. 

Learn more about the WSC and details of the pilot program at the CalOHII website    

1600 Ninth Street
Room 460
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone (916) 654-3454
Fax (916) 654-3343

Internet Address:   

Contact Information

    (916) 654-0000
    Cassie McTaggart