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
ONC and The Sequoia Project Designate First TEFCA QHINs
The Sequoia Project (@sequoiaproject), selected by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as the Recognized Coordinating Entity® (RCETM) to support the implementation of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common AgreementSM (TEFCASM), on behalf of ONC, designated the country’s first Qualified Health Information NetworksTM (QHINsTM) in a Common Agreement signing event alongside HHS Secretary Xavier Beccera, HHS Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm, and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Micky Tripathi, in Washington, DC.
DirectTrust Announces Updated Aggregated Directory Data Sharing Policy
DirectTrust™ (@DirectTrustorg), a non-profit healthcare industry alliance focused on furthering trust in health data exchange through standards, accreditation, and other services, announced that its Board of Directors approved the DirectTrust Aggregated Directory Data Sharing Policy V4.0. Aligning with goals set forth by the organization’s Directory Improvement Initiative, the updated Directory Policy will increase the functionality, access, and usability of the DirectTrust Directory.
eHealth Exchange Among First To Achieve TEFCA℠ Qualified Health Information Network™ (QHIN™) Designation
eHealth Exchange (@eHealthExchange) announced it’s been designated as a Qualified Health Information Network™ (QHIN™) under the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement℠ (TEFCA℠). This places eHealth Exchange’s electronic data-sharing network among the country’s first Designated QHINs to go live and operationally ready for exchange with other Designated QHINs.
KONZA National Network Earns Qualified Health Information NetworkTM Designation
KONZA National Network (@KonzaHealth) announced that it has been designated as a Qualified Health Information Network (QHINTM) to facilitate the exchange of health data on a nationwide scale. QHINs will be instrumental in expanding provider and consumer access to health information to improve care coordination, decrease costs and enhance health outcomes overall.
MedAllies Designated as a Qualified Health Information Network™ (QHIN™) Under The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement℠ (TEFCA℠)
MedAllies (@medallies), a healthcare interoperability and connectivity services provider, announced that it has been awarded designation as a Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) under the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).
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.
Mark your calendars for Civitas 2024 in Detroit on October 15-17, 2024 and keep an eye on your inbox for early-bird rates.
State HIE News
Michigan Health Information Network Announces Appointment of Janée Tyus to its Board of Directors
MiHIN announced that Janée Tyus, MPH has been elected to its Board of Directors.
We are excited to announce that Janée Tyus, MPH has joined the MiHIN Board of Directors! 📢
Tyus brings over a decade of unique experience in clinical research, public policy, community engagement & nonprofit leadership.
— MiHIN (@MiHIN) November 29, 2023
VITL Welcomes Emma Harrigan as Chair of the Board of Directors
VITL is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Harrigan as Chair of its Board of Directors. Harrigan brings extensive expertise in health care policy, quality improvement, and data systems to this role.
— VITL (@VITLVT) November 17, 2023
Hires and Openings
Active in all 50 states, the eHealth Exchange is the largest query-based, health information network in the country. It is the principal network that connects federal agencies and non-federal organizations, allowing them to work together to improve patient care and public health. They have an open position for:
- Onboarding Program Manager
Reports to: eHealth Exchange Vice President of Interoperability Adoption
FLSA Status: Exempt, Full Time
Supervisory Responsibility: N/A
VITL is the legislatively designated operator of the Vermont Health Information Exchange (sometimes written VHIE and pronounced Vee-high). Currently they have openings for Product Manager.
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. Currently they are looking for a Director, Technical Support and Operations Team.
Health Gorilla aspires to cut through the noise and disrupt the healthcare information technology space – making interoperability possible and ensuring access for developers, providers, and patients. Join them in their quest to improve patient and physician satisfaction, care delivery, clinical and operational outcomes, and health equity. View all their current job openings.
Civitas is Hiring!
Civitas is seeking a self-starting, motivated person who excels at organization, and time management. The ideal candidate will be passionate about furthering the mission of our organization’s work by assisting the team to be most effective with their time.
14th Annual 2024 State HIT Connect Summit
When: April 2, 2024 – April 4, 2024
Where: The Baltimore Hilton Inner Harbor
The 2024 State HIT Connect Summit will explore how states utilize emerging technologies, ideas, processes, and change management approaches to drive transformative, sustainable HHS ecosystem transformation.
RCE Monthly Informational Call
Stay tuned for next date.
The Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) hosts a public informational call as an opportunity to share information about the progress to-date on the third Tuesday of each month. View previous calls.
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.
On August 28, 2023, the ONC awarded The Sequoia Project 5-Year TEFCA RCE Contract to continue their services.
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.