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
Data Usability Takes Root Nationwide Through a Joint Project Between The Sequoia Project and AHIMA
The Sequoia Project, a non-profit and trusted advocate for nationwide health information technology (health IT) interoperability, announced the launch of a new initiative called Data Usability Taking Root to make health data more useful. Multiple health and health IT organizations have already pledged their support for The Sequoia Project’s new initiative
Final Rule Implementing Information Blocking Penalties
On June 27, 2023, HHS-OIG posted its final rule implementing information blocking penalties. The final rule establishes the statutory penalties created by the 21st Century Cures Act. If OIG determines that an individual or entity has committed information blocking, they may be subject up to a $1 million penalty per violation.
Governor Bryan Signs Agreement With CRISP Shared Services to Participate in Health Information Exchange Pilot Program
During the Office of Health Information Technology (OHIT) summit last week, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. signed a Letter of Intent with CRISP Shared Services to participate in a data and interoperability pilot program that will lay the foundation for OHIT’s Health Information Exchange in the Territory.
Claim.MD Achieves HITRUST Risk-based, 2-year (r2) Certification
Claim.MD (@claimmd), an electronic data interchange (EDI) clearinghouse helping to streamline the billing and collection process for providers, payers and software vendors, announced the Claim.MD Clearinghouse Service has earned certified status by HITRUST for information security.
Health Gorilla Partners with Humana Puerto Rico to Provide ADT Data For Care Coordination
Health Gorilla, announced a new partnership with Humana Puerto Rico to enhance care coordination for its members. Through this collaboration, Health Gorilla will provide Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) data to Humana Puerto Rico powered by established network connections on the island.
KONZA National Network Achieves HITRUST Risk-Based, 2-Year (r2) Certification
KONZA National Network, a provider of powering health data interoperability nationwide, announced the KONZA Interoperability Platform has earned certified status by HITRUST for information security.
Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange is now PelEX
The health information exchange run by PATH and LPHI changes its brand, looks statewide.
Since 2013, the Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (PelEX) has been serving Louisiana’s Medicaid population through a focused involvement of vital Federally Qualified Health Centers and community health clinics. PelEX was cultivated out of a strong foundation of FQHCs in the New Orleans area seeking to promote care coordination, improved population health initiatives, and access to primary care, and over the last 10 years, have continued to carry that mission into other areas of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Opelousas.
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. 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.
Civitas Networks for Health Welcomes 11 New Members During First Half of 2023
Civitas Networks for Health announced the addition of 11 new organizations to its membership in the first half of 2023, representing continuous growth for the nonprofit organization. As the largest national network of its kind, Civitas is comprised of member organizations working to use health information exchange, health data, and multi-stakeholder, cross-sector approaches to improve health across North America.
State HIE News
Georgia Health Information Network Receives $1M USDA Grant to Upgrade Technology and Support Medically Underserved Georgians
The Georgia Health Information Network (@georgiahie), Georgia’s state-designated health information exchange (HIE), has received a $1,000,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Emergency Rural Development Community Facilities Grant program. This community-based grant program aims to promote rural healthcare services by expanding and enhancing healthcare delivery to medically underserved citizens living in counties of persistent poverty.
Idaho Health Data Exchange Emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Appoints Jesse Meldru as Executive Director
The Idaho Health Data Exchange (@idahohde) announced that it has completed a comprehensive financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. IHDE sought Chapter 11 protection in August 2022 in response to a lawsuit filed by a subcontractor. The filing and restructuring allowed IHDE to continue its ordinary business operations while resolving outstanding contract disputes more efficiently through an orderly and structured process in federal court.
Hires and Openings
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 an openings for the following positions:
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:
State Healthcare IT Community Members – Interoperability Day
When: September 7, 2023 12:00 – 4:00 pm ET
More details to come.
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.