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
eHealth Exchange and C3HIE Announce QHIN Intentions
eHealth Exchange (@eHealthExchange), one of the nation’s oldest and largest health information networks, announced that C3HIE, a multi-regional health information exchange serving more than 128 counties across Texas, intends to partner with eHealth Exchange’s anticipated Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) to participate in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC’s) Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).
San Diego Health Connect Selects 4medica to Reduce Duplicate Patient Records
4medica (@4medica), a renowned healthcare data quality leader specializing in enterprise master person index (eMPI) matching technology and real-time interoperability, announced that San Diego Health Connect will deploy 4medica’s cloud-based Data Quality Platform to improve patient matching and health data quality.
NextGen White Paper: Transforming Healthcare Interoperability into Measurable Outcomes
The definition of interoperability is the ability to share clinical data seamlessly among various disparate systems and technologies, and to avoid information blocking. One of the many challenges healthcare organizations face, is fully understanding their own data sharing obligations and those of their health IT vendors.
Health Gorilla Launches a Jungle-Themed Kids Book about Interoperability
Despite the value of interoperability, and the tremendous impact that it can have on both individual and population health, the concept remains confusing, or even entirely unknown, to most. To educate consumers on this complex topic, Health Gorilla (@healthgorilla) created a jungle-themed children’s book about interoperability called A Gorilla’s Guide to Health Data Sharing that breaks down what interoperability is and why it’s so important to understanding, and managing, our health.
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.
Civitas 2023 just wrapped and they are announcing next year in Detroit on October 15-17, 2024. Mark your calendar and keep an eye on your inbox for early-bird rates.
State HIE News
Manifest MedEx To Apply for Designation as a QHIO in the California Health and Human Services Data Exchange Framework
Manifest MedEx (@ManifestMedEx), California’s largest nonprofit health information organization (HIO), announced it intends to apply for designation as a Qualified Health Information Organization (QHIO) in the California Health and Human Services (CalHHS) Data Exchange Framework (DxF), a first-ever, statewide data-sharing agreement that will accelerate and expand the exchange of health information among healthcare entities, government agencies, and social service programs beginning in 2024.
Contexture and Quality Health Network (QHN) Explore Affiliation and Unified Health Information Exchange
Contexture (@ContextureHIT) and QHN are excited to announce that the two organizations have entered into a Letter of Intent to explore an affiliation to unify health information exchange in Colorado. This affiliation would result in the integration of staff, technology, and operations and enable both organizations to bring our extensive expertise serving our respective communities to support all of Colorado.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
State Healthcare IT Community Members – Interoperability Day
When: September 7, 2023 12:00 – 4:00 pm ET
Interoperability Day is a one-day virtual mini-conference focused on State Implementation of CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Rule, the evolving role of HIEs, a deep dive on multi-domain use cases for FHIR APIs, and how all of these are building the foundations for HHS ecosystem transformation.
ONC Virtual Event – Enabling Patient Access to Health Data for Actionable Results
When: Wednesday, October 18, 2023 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.