What’s Happening at the ONC – 4-24-20

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.

Enforcement Discretion Related to ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule
In light of COVID-19, ONC will exercise its discretion in enforcing all new requirements that have compliance dates and timeframes until three months after each initial compliance date or timeline identified in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule (please see Certification Timelines). This additional flexibility for development and implementation enables our healthcare system to focus on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, while still maintaining a trajectory that will advance patients’ access to their health information, reduce the cost of care, and improve the quality of care.

Read the Statement

View Final Rule on the Federal Register


ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule Webinars
Mark your calendar! ONC has a series of question and answer webinars coming up on ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule. Visit HealthIT.gov/CuresRule to learn more about the final rule.

  • Application Programming Interface (APIs)
    May 6 at 3 PM ET | Register
  • Compliance Timeline
    May 20 at 3 PM ET | Register
  • Health IT for Pediatric Care and Settings
    June 3 at 3 PM ET | Register


From This Just In, host Justin Barnes, aka @HITAdvisor was in his Atlanta studio talking to healthcare leaders and health IT thought leaders. On this episode he talked to the ONC’s National Coordinator Dr. Don Rucker, Deputy National Coordinator Steven Posnack, Exec. Dir. Elise Sweeney Anthony, JD, and Privacy Officer Kathryn Marchesini, JD on the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule. Take a listen.


Tools and Resources for the Health IT Community
To support HHS’s ongoing response efforts to the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), ONC is partnering with the CDC to direct the health IT community and healthcare providers to various resources for reporting and tracking of coronavirus disease or COVID-19. Visit HealthIT.gov for more.

21st Century Cures Act Test Procedures
ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule made several changes to the existing 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. The final rule introduced a small number of new certification criteria, revised several existing certification criteria, and removed several certification criteria. These changes constitute the 2015 Edition Cures Update. View more on HealthIT.gov.

Careers at ONC
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is hiring Supervisory Health Information Program Analysts.

New Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) Funding Available
ONC has released a special emphasis notice under its Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology (Health IT) notice of funding opportunity. Letters of intent are strongly encouraged, but are not required. Those interested in submitting a letter of intent should do so by no later than April 27, 2020 to ONC-LEAP@hhs.gov. ONC is interested in applications whose specific aims address one of the following areas:

  • Advancing Registry Infrastructure for a Modern API-based Health IT Ecosystem
  • Cutting Edge Health IT Tools for Scaling Research
  • Integrating Health Care and Human Services Data to Support Improved Outcomes

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:

Key Takeaways from the ONC 2020 Annual Meeting
Did you miss the headlines from ONC’s 10th Annual Meeting? If so, they have compiled a list of the major themes from this year’s meeting. The event hosted more than 1,200 stakeholders and focused on the importance of patients’ access to health information, privacy concerns, health care cost transparency, health IT standards, and what these topics look like from different perspectives. All plenary sessions and keynote messages from the Annual Meeting are available via webcast. Presentations from breakout sessions will be available on HealthIT.gov soon.

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

Advancing the Collection and Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes through Health Information Technology – Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures can help improve patient care, but how do we standardize the exchange and integration of PRO data into health information technology? The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed and pilot-tested an implementation guide using Health Level Seven International® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources®, which establishes the specification to support collecting, exchanging, and integrating PRO data in real time in healthcare settings. Read more about the PRO project in the final report.

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.


Health IT Advisory Committee Meeting
The next Health IT Advisory Committee Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Spotlighting Interoperability Proving Ground Programs

The Interoperability Proving Ground (IPG) Spotlight project of the week is: The SANER Project – The Situation Awareness for Novel Epidemic Response Project a.k.a, the SANER Project was launched by Audacious Inquiry in response to concerns from public health departments, health information exchanges supporting public health, and inquiries from public health officials at the regional, state and Federal level in the US.

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.