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
Veradigm Selects MedAllies as its Qualified Health Information Network™ (QHIN™) Partner
MedAllies, a healthcare interoperability and connectivity services provider, announced today that Veradigm Inc., a provider of healthcare data and technology services, has selected MedAllies as its Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) partner.
EHR Association Input on Info Blocking Disincentives Proposal
The EHR Association recently provided input to ONC on the proposed information blocking disincentives in which it noted that providers currently engaged in MIPS, PI or an ACO already use certified EHRs and are likely to adhere to transparency and interoperability standards as part of their program obligations.
Epic Providers Approved Among First TEFCA Participants
Epic Nexus, a subsidiary of Epic, becomes one of the first organizations to achieve Qualified Health Information Network (QHINTM) designation. Providers using Epic – including many of the country’s leading health systems – can now choose to securely exchange information through the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common AgreementSM (TEFCA), a new national health exchange framework to improve patient care and advance interoperability nationwide.
333 KONZA-Powered Sites Earn and/or Maintain Validated Data Stream Designation in Rigorous NCQA Data Aggregator Validation Program
KONZA National Network has earned the Validated Data Stream designation for its sixth cohort in the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Data Aggregator Validation program. It is part of the latest NCQA cohort to voluntarily seek and earn the new NCQA validation. 333 KONZA-powered sites have earned and maintained this selective designation, illustrating KONZA’s commitment to providing high quality, accurate and trusted clinical data.
DirectTrust Announces TNAP-Participant V2.0 Accreditation Criteria Available for Public Review through March 20
DirectTrust™, a non-profit healthcare industry alliance created to support secure, identity-verified electronic exchanges of protected health information, announced TNAP-Participant program, Version 2.0 criteria is available for public comment. The open process for adopting criteria will commence on January 17 and end on March 20, 2023.
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
San Diego Health Connect Achieves QHIO Designation,
San Diego Health Connect achieves QHIO Designation, a milestone in statewide health information sharing, ensuring secure communication and meeting DxF requirements. Compliant with California law, this accelerates data exchange for coordinated care, enhancing patient outcomes! pic.twitter.com/2X4ac0PgeO
— SD Health Connect (@SDHealthConnect) January 10, 2024
NC HealthConnex Earns Validated Data Stream Designation in NCQA Data Aggregator Validation Program
The N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority, which manages the state-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex, has earned the Validated Data Stream designation through the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Data Aggregator Validation program.
Hires and Openings
Louisiana Public Health Institute
The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) is a statewide, non-profit organization that has been promoting the health and well-being of Louisianians since 1997. Their 100+ employees work alongside 500+ partner organizations at the local, state, and national levels to leverage our broad expertise in public health to achieve their mission of ensuring that everyone has fair and just opportunities to be healthy and well. They have an opening for: Associate Director, Data Strategy and Services.
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
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.
Contexture is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic, technical and administrative support to communities committed to advancing health through information sharing. As the leading health information exchange for Arizona and Colorado, Contexture is the largest health information organization in the western region. They currently have an opening for a Chief Legal Officer & Privacy Officer.
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, Lead – Project Management Office, & Office Administrator. View all current opportunities.
KONZA National Network
TEFCA HIE Office Hours with KONZA – Join them for TEFCA HIE Office Hours, a monthly opportunity for you to join a live webinar where they will provide support and answer all your TEFCA and QHIN-related questions. Onboarding HIEs to TEFCA has its unique challenges, spanning technical, policy and contract considerations, and they are here to support you through the process. Each session will focus on a different QHIN topic relevant to HIEs with half the time reserved for Q&A. Topic for January 26, 2024: QHIN to HIE Contracts
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.
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.