We have now past the 19 year mark in our quest for healthcare interoperability. Under an executive order from president G W Bush, the ONC was established and Dr. David Brailer was dubbed “America’s first Health Information Czar.” The Meaningful Use program was then born out of the HITECH Act and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System was then born our of the MACRA legislation. And then information sharing from the CURES Act. And now the release of Trusted Exchange Framework and the Common Agreement (TEFCA). All trying to move our healthcare system to the digital age, better outcomes, controlling and reducing costs, and patient access to their health data. It has not been an easy road and the debate of the journey will never end.
Industry and Contract News
Comment Now on the 2023 Interoperability Standards Advisory
The annual comment period for the Interoperability Standards Advisory (ISA) opens today, August 8, and will run until October 6, 2023. This is an opportunity for the public to provide comments, suggest revisions, and propose additions to the ISA before ONC publishes the 10th Annual ISA Reference Edition in January 2024. Login or Register to Comment.
CommonWell Network Surpasses 200 Million Unique Individuals on its Nationwide Health Data Network – This means it is sharing electronic health data for roughly 62% of the total United States population based U.S. Census projections. This milestone comes as CommonWell recognizes its 10-year anniversary and continues the onboarding process as a candidate Qualified Health Information Networks (QHIN). QHINs will eventually enable exchange via the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA)—a common set of principles, terms and conditions designed to take the nationwide exchange of electronic health information to the next level. Read the full article.
Presidium Health Deploys Health Gorilla to Access Patient Data in a Direct-To-Home Healthcare Solution – Presidium Health has successfully deployed Health Gorilla’s EHR data retrieval solution to power complex home care services. Presidium is also making use of Health Gorilla’s intuitive user interface (UI), which synchronizes patient registration with their own system. Additionally, Health Gorilla’s document filtering capabilities have become instrumental in removing redundancy and streamlining information for physicians. Read the full news release.
WebPT Unveils Message Manager to Revolutionize Communication for Rehab Therapy Businesses – WebPT, a rehab therapy platform for enhancing patient care and fueling business growth, announced the launch of Message Manager—a communication platform that enables seamless and secure collaboration with any external healthcare provider.
Reminders about the 2023 Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Requirements – CMS reminders for participation in the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program. Participating eligible hospitals and CAHs need to meet the following requirements for CY 2023 to avoid a downward Medicare payment adjustment:
- A minimum of any continuous 90 days for the electronic health record (EHR) reporting period.
- New for CY 2023: A requirement to use the 2015 Edition Cures Update to meet the Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) requirement.
- A minimum total score of 60 points.
- Report 4 eCQMs, and the Safe Use of Opioids – Concurrent Prescribing eCQM, using a full years’ worth of data.
- Complete activities for the measures under the Protect Patient Health Information objective, including the Security Risk Analysis and attesting whether the annual self-assessment was completed on all 9 SAFER guides.
Spotlight on Community Networks
The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) and the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) announced a formal affiliation between the two organizations to form a new organization named Civitas Networks for Health. The organization serves as a platform for local nonprofit health collaboratives and health information exchanges to grow and thrive. Read their latest news.
Follow them @civitas4health.
2023 Civitas Networks for Health Annual Conference
When: August 20 – 23, 2023
Where: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor MD
The Civitas Networks for Health 2023 Annual Conference, in Partnership with Chesapeake Bay Regional Members, will be taking place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. The event will be held August 20 – 23 and will include presentations from industry experts and members as well as opportunities for networking and connections among all conference participants.
State HIE News
Unite Us Partners with Healthix and Regional Social Care Networks to Improve Quality of Life for New York City and Long Island Residents
Unite Us, a national software company enabling cross-sector collaboration to improve people’s health and well-being, and Healthix, the largest public HIE in the nation serving New York City and Long Island, are partnering to address drivers of health (DOH) in collaboration with the region’s leading social care networks.
United Way/211 Wisconsin and WISHIN Partnership
The United Way of Wisconsin (UWWI) and the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (@WISHIN_Pulse) are proud to announce a partnership aimed at promoting better health and well-being for all Wisconsin residents through the United Way of Wisconsin’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE) project.
Hires and Openings
Kno2 Appoints Trailblazer as Chief Health Officer, Igniting a Revolution in Healthcare Innovation
Kno2® (@Kno2), the trailblazer in meaningful connectivity, is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Peter Schoch, a seasoned physician executive and progressive thought-leader from Advent Health, as the company’s chief health officer.
New York eHealth Collaborative
New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) is a not-for-profit organization working in partnership with the New York State Department of Health to improve healthcare by collaboratively leading, connecting, and integrating health information exchange across the State. Founded in 2006 by healthcare leaders, NYeC works to help New York State achieve the Triple Aim of improving the patient experience of care, delivering better health outcomes, and reducing costs. They have open positions for the following:
Delaware Health Information Network
Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) is the nation’s first statewide health information exchange. Established by statute as a not-for-profit public instrumentality, DHIN’s statutory mission is to facilitate the design and implementation of an integrated, statewide health data system to support the information needs of consumers, health plans, policymakers, providers, purchasers and researchers to improve the quality and efficiency of health care services in Delaware. They have openings as follows:
Civitas is Hiring!
Program Coordinator (Term Limited)
Civitas is seeking a highly organized and detail-oriented individual to join our team as a Program Coordinator. In this crucial role, you will play a vital part in supporting the administrative and logistical aspects of strategic initiatives and grant funded programs. Additionally, you will provide essential assistance to the programmatic work of various work groups and councils, ensuring the smooth functioning and success of our initiatives. This is a temporary, term limited, full-time, non-exempt position. As a Program Coordinator, you will report directly to the Vice President, Business Development and Programs, and will collaborate closely with program leads and external partners to achieve our program’s objectives.
Please note that this position is term-limited and is funded by one or more grant programs. Currently, the term for this position runs through December 31, 2023. While Civitas Networks for Health is committed to offering continued employment to valued team members when individual grants and programs end, it does not guarantee continued employment beyond the listed term.
VITL is the legislatively designated operator of the Vermont Health Information Exchange (sometimes written VHIE and pronounced Vee-high), a secure infrastructure that gives health care organizations in Vermont the ability to electronically share and access their patients’ health information in order to improve the quality, safety, and cost of patient care. They have these open positions:
We are excited to announce the latest developments in health quality, including the use of FHIR® data and how we are propelling Health Information Exchanges and health IT organizations into the future. Join us for our free webinar 8/15, 1pm ET. Sign up! https://t.co/PajZHQHkWb pic.twitter.com/sZ2PHfd9uO
— NCQA (@NCQA) August 3, 2023
Please join us for a special QHIN Education Webinar on 8/17 from 12-1 pm CT. We’ll share important information about choosing a QHIN, the value of joining the KONZA QHIN and next steps in the process. https://t.co/DXqZNiqJBV#QHIN #TEFCA #interoperability pic.twitter.com/bHKp9D3DSi
— KONZA National Network (@KonzaHealth) July 29, 2023
State Healthcare IT Community Members – Interoperability Day
When: September 7, 2023 12:00 – 4:00 pm ET
More details to come.
ONC Virtual Event – Enabling Patient Access to Health Data for Actionable Results
When: Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Time: 12:00 – 4:30 pm ET
Register for this event.
Recent Department of Health and Human Services policy is bringing patients unprecedented access to their health information. Join ONC and CMS in October for a virtual event focused on patient access to health data. The day will bring together patients, providers, payers, and health IT developers to discuss how HHS policies are working in practice and how to maximize the impact of these policies. The event will also highlight educational tools and resources, such as patient-facing apps that enable the availability of patient information and make that health information easier to understand.
To ensure the widest participation possible, this event will now be all-virtual. Register today, and check out valuable information and resources about the patient’s right to their data on our website. If you would be interested in sharing a patient experience with accessing and using patient data, please share with them at their website.
eHealth Exchange Annual Meeting
When: November 14, 2023
Where: Town and Country Resort, San Diego CA
This year’s annual meeting will feature presentations and discussions requested by our eHealth Exchange participants.
Anticipated Topics include, Implementing Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), Supporting public health, Reaching rural health, Expanding federal agency participation, Increasing data usability. Spreading FHIR, and Exploring the network roadmap.
2023 Sequoia Project Annual Meeting
When: November 15-17, 2023
Where: Town and Country Resort, San Diego CA
Once again, you are invited to attend the 2023 Sequoia Project Annual Meeting. This year, Carequality will join the Sequoia Project to host a joint annual meeting with a single registration. The Sequoia Project members and Carequality implementers will have exclusive early access to registration. They are traveling to San Diego, California, for the event, and they hope to see you there.
Anticipated Meeting Topics: Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), Public Health, Data Usability, Information Sharing, Security and Privacy, Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs),Consumer Engagement Strategies, Payment and Operations, Unconference Sessions, Patient Request / Patient Access, and FHIR.
Stay tuned for more details.
ONC's Cures Act Final Rule
In May of 2020 the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program released by the ONC and published in the Federal Register. Here is a quick timeline.
- 6/30/20 – General Effective Date
- 4/5/21 – Compliance requirements start for information blocking, assurance, and API
- 4/5/21 – HIT developers prohibited from restricting certain communications
- 12/15/21 – Submit initial real world testing plans
- 4/1/22 – 1st attestation to conditions of Cert required
- 12/31/22 – New HL7 FHIR API capability and other update criteria must be made available
- 3/15/23 – Submit initial real world testing results
- 12/31/23 – EHI export capability must be made available
The TEFCA Players
ONC Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE)
The Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) – The Sequoia Project (@sequoiaproject)is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the Common Agreement component of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). The Common Agreement is the baseline technical and legal requirements for health information networks to share electronic health information and is part of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act).
In addition they will collaborate with ONC to designate and monitor Qualified Health Information Networks (QHIN), modify and update an accompanying QHIN Technical Framework, engage with stakeholders through virtual public listening sessions, adjudicate noncompliance with the Common Agreement, and propose sustainability strategies to support TEFCA beyond the cooperative agreement’s period of performance.
RCE Releases TEFCA Facilitated FHIR IG Draft 2, and Updated Versions of QHIN Onboarding & Designation SOP and QHIN Application
- TEFCA Facilitated FHIR Implementation Guide, Draft 2 (Pilot Version)
- updated versions of the Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) Onboarding & Designation Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
- QHIN Application for stakeholder feedback.
QHIN Applications Moving Forward
According to Allied Market Research, the healthcare interoperability solutions market size was valued at $5,320.0 million in 2020, and is expected to reach $21,544.6 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 14.9% from 2021 to 2030. Interoperability in healthcare refers to timely and secure access, integration and use of electronic health data so that it can be used to optimize health outcomes for individuals and populations. As populations around the world age and people live longer, interoperability and data sharing are going to become increasingly critical for delivering effective healthcare. Interoperability is the ability of two or more systems to exchange health information and use the information once it is received.
According to the report published by Fior Markets, the global healthcare data interoperability market is expected to grow from USD 2.83 billion in 2020 and to reach USD 5.80 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 9.38% during the forecast period 2021-2028. The primary reasons driving healthcare interoperability market growth include a growing focus on patient care, a growing need to tighten healthcare costs, and government measures to improve patient experience of treatment. System interoperability, information interchange, and data availability are all important factors in improving health outcomes. Individual health data is mobilized throughout the whole range of care providers in health organizations, enabling coordinated, safe, and high-quality treatment that supports payment reforms, transparency efforts, and individuals’ ability to control their health.