Sequoia Project Forms Common Agreement Work Group

Series of Public Stakeholder Calls Precede Work Group Formation

The Sequoia Project (@sequoiaproject), in their role as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE), announced it will form a work group to inform the RCE’s efforts in developing the Common Agreement.

The Common Agreement will establish baseline technical and legal requirements for health information networks to be designated as Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs) as part of the TEFCA framework. ONC was tasked to develop or support a trusted exchange framework as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

The RCE is now accepting Common Agreement Work Group (CAWG) applications through February 28, 2020 from organizations that can demonstrate an ability to meet proposed expectations for QHINs and who have experience operating health information networks (HIN) at nationwide scale. Selection for the work group does not guarantee designation as a QHIN. If selected, applicants can designate up to two organizations that participate in the applicant’s HIN to serve on the work group.

“The Sequoia Project has always been committed to a transparent and inclusive approach to developing trust agreements that engender public trust and are embraced and used for nationwide health information exchange,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project. “We carry that commitment into our work as the RCE, and invite all prospective QHINs to apply to inform our work in developing the Common Agreement.”

In advance of the launch of the CAWG, the RCE is hosting a series of four public webinars focused on specific Common Agreement provisions developed by the RCE, the Additional Required Terms and Conditions (ARTCs). The community feedback collected at these 90-minute public meetings will inform the work group’s efforts.

Each of the free, public meetings requires separate registration and will cover different content. Registration is available now:

The draft Common Agreement will be posted for public comment by ONC after the work group’s efforts conclude.

“We’re entering a critical phase of the Common Agreement development process, and we need input from organizations that will agree to participate in exchange activities under the purview of the Common Agreement. This will ensure the agreement is both practical and adopted with broad support,” said Yeager. “This work provides an opportunity for the health IT community to shape the future of interoperability through TEFCA. It’s essential we engage the implementation community and provide as many opportunities as possible for everyone to participate.”

To apply for the Common Agreement Work Group, download the application and Memorandum of Understanding and Confidentiality Agreement from the RCE web site. Completed applications should be emailed, following submission guidelines, by 8 pm ET on February 28, 2020 for consideration.

About The Sequoia Project
The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, 501c3, public-private collaborative chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange. The Sequoia Project focuses on solving real-world interoperability challenges, and brings together public and private stakeholders in forums like the Interoperability Matters cooperative to overcome barriers. Sequoia also supports multiple, independently governed interoperability initiatives, such as the Patient Unified Lookup Service for Emergencies (PULSE), a system used by disaster healthcare volunteers to treat individuals injured or displaced by disasters. The Sequoia Project is also the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), for which it will develop, implement, and maintain the Common Agreement component of TEFCA and operationalize the Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) designation and monitoring process.