Sharing Health Data Update March 2024

We are now nearing the 20 year mark in our quest for healthcare interoperability. Under an executive order from president G W Bush (April 2004), 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

The Sequoia Project and HL7 Enter Strategic Collaboration To Advance FHIR Implementations Nationwide
Health Level Seven International (HL7®), a standards-development organization, and The Sequoia Project, a non-profit and trusted advocate for nationwide health information technology (health IT) interoperability, are pleased to announce a strategic collaboration to advance global health data interoperability by accelerating the adoption of the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standards in the United States.

Data Usability Takes Root with Release of Validator Tool
The Sequoia Project, a non-profit and trusted advocate for nationwide health IT interoperability, in collaboration with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), unveiled a data usability validator tool for health information exchanged in the United States.

KONZA’s publishes its first Annual Impact Report with a comprehensive look at our past year’s collective achievements. The report highlights their accomplishments and milestones for 2023. Looking forward to 2024 President & CEO Laura McCrary, EdD states she is “confident that we will continue to innovate and drive positive change in the healthcare industry. Your support and dedication have been instrumental in our success, and I am truly grateful. Together, let’s continue to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.”

Health Gorilla, a Qualified Health Information Network™ (QHIN™) and interoperability solution provider, announced a new collaboration with Unblock Health, a master key of patient access solutions designed to give patients a competitive advantage against their health conditions. Unblock Health will participate in Health Gorilla’s QHIN to enable patients to retrieve their personal health records under the Individual Access Services (IAS) purpose of use.

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

Second-time Awardees CyncHealth, PointClickCare, Innsena Granted $80,000 Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Federal Funding
CyncHealth, the designated health information exchange (HIE) for Nebraska and Iowa; PointClickCare, a leading healthcare technology platform; and Innsena, a health tech consultancy focused on improving care outcomes for underserved communities, won the second phase of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Racial Equity in Postpartum Care Challenge—including federal funding of $80,000, for their innovative postpartum care program in Nebraska.

Connie Announces Expansion of Flagship Medication Safety Tool to Protect Connecticut Residents
Connie, the State of Connecticut’s nonprofit health information exchange (HIE), marked another year of successfully leveraging a nation-leading innovative medication safety tool. Utilized by healthcare providers across the state who collectively serve more than 4.5 million patients, the tool’s demonstrated impact has paved the way for expansion of the program.

Aetna® Provides Grant to Georgia Health Information Network for SDOH Referral Pilot Project
At HIMSS24, Denise Hines, Executive Director at GaHIN and Shirelle King, Program Manager at GaHIN, ran a session entitled, “Enhancing Whole-Person Care Through Clinical and Social Data Integration” discussing the outcomes of a pilot program funded by Aetna.

Hires and Openings

Health Gorilla
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.

eHealth Exchange
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:

  • Interoperability Product Manager
    Reports to: eHealth Exchange Vice President of Interoperability Adoption
    FLSA Status: Exempt, Full Time
    Supervisory Responsibility: N/A

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. They are currently seeking the following positions:

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.

Upcoming Events

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.

For more Details.

KONZA National Network

When: Wednesday, April 3, 2024  12:00 – 1:00pm ET
Register for this event.

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

RCE Monthly Informational Call

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2024  12:00 – 1:00 pm ET
Register for this event.

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.

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 Resource Library – which includes a guide to the Common Agreement, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), technical documents, and other resources that make up TEFCA’s rules of the road. Start your journey to next generation interoperability here. ​

Designated QHINs as of February 2024

Interoperability Market

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.

Healthcare NOW Radio Tuning In To TEFCA Playlist