What’s Happening at the ONC – 10-25-19

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is at the forefront of the administration’s health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Here is what they are doing and reporting. Follow them @ONC_HealthIT. Sign up for their email updates.


ONC is Hiring!

Using FHIR to Avoid Insurance Denials
The Da Vinci Project, which is an HL7® FHIR Accelerator project, is testing a FHIR-based implementation guide to incorporate coverage criteria from payers into providers’ workflow to speed reimbursement. The project and its companion electronically query payers to discover what documentation is necessary for a proposed medication, procedure or other service. Read about the project. Add your project.

Surescripts is Now an ONC Program Partner for Electronic Prescribing § 170.315(b)(3)
ONC approved the Surescripts §170.315(b)(3) electronic prescribing test method as an alternative for use in the ONC Health IT Certification Program. This recent addition to the testing portfolio is in line with ONC’s goal to transition the ONC Health IT Certification Program’s testing portfolio to as many industry-developed and maintained testing tools as possible. The purpose of this goal is to more efficiently focus testing resources and better align with industry-developed testing tools to support real world testing as envisioned by the 21st Century Cures Act. Please contact the ONC Health IT Certification Program with questions or for additional information.

Using FHIR Standard for Research – Request for Input
The Office of Data Science Strategy at the National Institutes of Health recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input on how the Health Level Seven International (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard could be used for research purposes. NIH would like to better understand researchers’ experiences using FHIR, the extent to which researchers plan or do not plan to use FHIR, what tools may be needed to effectively use FHIR, the need for research regarding standards development, and opportunities and challenges with using FHIR. Comments to the RFI should be submitted electronically by Nov. 23, 2019. Read more.

Now Available: 2020 Eligible Hospital eCQM Flows
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the 2020 reporting period electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) flows for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) to the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center.

These flows are intended to be used as an additional resource when implementing eCQMs and should not be used in place of the eCQM specification or for reporting purposes. A “Read Me First” guide to understanding the flows is also available to assist users as they navigate the flows. The guide can be found on the eCQI Resource Center website within the eCQM flows zip file.

Questions regarding the eCQM flows should be directed to the ONC Project Tracking System (Jira) eCQM Issue Tracker.

TEFCA Taskforce Issues Recommendations
In July, the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) taskforce presented 28 recommendations to the Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC) for approval. Established by the 21st Century Cures Act, the role of the HITAC is to recommend to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, policies, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, relating to the implementation of a health information technology infrastructure, nationally and locally, that advances the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information. Learn more and get involved.

ONC Has the Data
Close to 50 original data briefs that provide information about current topics in health IT are available on HealthIT.gov. These reports summarize national-level data analyses, providing readers with easy to understand graphics, key takeaways, and policy discussions. Check out ONC’s Data Briefs.

Security Risk Assessment Tool Update
An updated version of the Security Risk Assessment (SRA) tool is available that includes bug fixes, enhancements, and a security patch. We encourage those running the previous version to upgrade as soon as possible.

New Health IT Advisory Committee Task Forces
The Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC) launched four task forces to review and provide recommendations on ONC’s proposed rule. The task forces include: Information Blocking, Conditions and Maintenance of Certification Requirements, Health IT for the Care Continuum and U.S. Core Data for Interoperability. The task forces are expected to conduct reviews and provide recommendations over the next two months. Follow the Task Forces

LEAP in Health IT Funding Available
Earlier this month, ONC published a special emphasis notice (SEN) under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health IT funding opportunity to address standardization of patient information for seamless access, exchange, and use. For more information visit LEAP in Health IT.


From the Health IT Buzz Blog – Learn more about HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Check out the latest blog posts:


Health IT Advisory Committee Meeting
The next Health IT Advisory Committee Meeting will be held Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

Save the Date!
ONC 2020 Annual Meeting – January 27-28, 2020

2018 ONC Annual Meeting Presentations are Online Now
Slide presentations from the breakout sessions at the 2018 ONC Annual Meeting are available online. To download the presentations, navigate to the session in the agenda and look for the “Download Slides” link. Additionally, you can view recordings of the mainstage sessions.

Spotlighting Interoperability Proving Ground Programs

The Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG) Spotlight project of the week is Da Vinci Clinical Data Exchange (CDex) Implementation Guide – The Clinical Data exchange (CDex) is part of the larger Da Vinci use case for Health Record exchange (HRex). The scope of the CDex project is to defined combinations of exchange methods (push, pull, subscribe, CDS Hooks, ), specific payloads (Documents, Bundles, and Individual Resources), search criteria, conformance, provenance, and other relevant requirements to support specific exchanges of clinical information between provider and other providers and/or payers.

Learn how your interoperability project can be featured as an IPG Spotlight by visiting the Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG). Once a project is submitted or updated, projects will automatically be added to the feature queue to be randomly selected as a featured project.

ONC Interoperability Pledge

Companies that provide 90 percent of electronic health records used by hospitals nationwide as well as the top five largest health care systems in the country have agreed to implement three core commitments: Consumer Access, No Blocking/Ensuring Transparency, and Standards. The ONC (@ONC_HealthIT) wants vendors to sign a pledge. Is your vendor pledging? Find out who is on the list.