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HHS Unveils Framework for Interoperability

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Medpage Today

HHS Unveils Framework for Interoperability

But will it work? Tell HHS your thoughts

MedpageToday

  • by Editor-in-Chief, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services released its long-anticipated draft guidance Friday on Trusted Exchange Framework, a.k.a. interoperability.

On the face of it, interoperability is a simple concept: a handshake to assure trusted, secure exchange of health information among different systems — but in practice, achieving it has been a long haul with progress painfully slow. Nonetheless, it is a legislated goal required by the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016.

In a prepared statement, Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, said the draft “reflects the successes and challenges already existing in the exchange of health information and is designed to help guide the nation on its path to interoperability for all. The principles and direction we released today, combined with the support of providers, existing health information networks, health IT developers, and federal agencies, are designed to help improve patient care, care coordination, and the overall health of the nation.”

According to HHS, the framework “proposes policies, procedures, and technical standards necessary to advance the single on-ramp to interoperability requested by Congress. It will be facilitated through [Office of National Coordinator] in collaboration with a single Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) to be selected through a competitive process.

“The RCE will use the Trust Exchange Framework policies, procedures, technical standards, principles, and goals to develop a single Common Agreement that Qualified Health Information Networks (Qualified HINs) and their participants will voluntarily agree to adopt.”

More specifically, here is what HHS is promising:

  • Easy patient access
  • Access to population-level data exchange for both providers and payers
  • Open and accessible access for the health IT through application programming interfaces and improved electronic health record usability

The HHS said the draft “would not prevent existing or new organizations from creating point-to-point or individual agreements between organizations that have a particular business need to exchange information – while preventing potential information blocking – that may be different from those outlined in the proposal.”

Importantly, the HHS also issued a user’s guide for the framework.

Comments on the draft Trusted Exchange Framework are accepted through February 18, 2018. They can be submitted at exchangeframework@hhs.gov.

Following the public comment period and refinements to the draft document, a final draft of the combined Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement will be released.

2018-01-05T12:20:55-0500
Comments

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At MedPage Today, we are committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities can access all of the content offered by MedPage Today through our website and other properties. If you are having trouble accessing www.medpagetoday.com, MedPageToday's mobile apps, please email legal@ziffdavis.com for assistance. Please put "ADA Inquiry" in the subject line of your email.

Medpage Today

HHS Unveils Framework for Interoperability

But will it work? Tell HHS your thoughts

MedpageToday

  • by Editor-in-Chief, MedPage Today

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Health and Human Services released its long-anticipated draft guidance Friday on Trusted Exchange Framework, a.k.a. interoperability.

On the face of it, interoperability is a simple concept: a handshake to assure trusted, secure exchange of health information among different systems -- but in practice, achieving it has been a long haul with progress painfully slow. Nonetheless, it is a legislated goal required by the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016.

In a prepared statement, Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, said the draft "reflects the successes and challenges already existing in the exchange of health information and is designed to help guide the nation on its path to interoperability for all. The principles and direction we released today, combined with the support of providers, existing health information networks, health IT developers, and federal agencies, are designed to help improve patient care, care coordination, and the overall health of the nation."

According to HHS, the framework "proposes policies, procedures, and technical standards necessary to advance the single on-ramp to interoperability requested by Congress. It will be facilitated through [Office of National Coordinator] in collaboration with a single Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) to be selected through a competitive process.

"The RCE will use the Trust Exchange Framework policies, procedures, technical standards, principles, and goals to develop a single Common Agreement that Qualified Health Information Networks (Qualified HINs) and their participants will voluntarily agree to adopt."

More specifically, here is what HHS is promising:

  • Easy patient access
  • Access to population-level data exchange for both providers and payers
  • Open and accessible access for the health IT through application programming interfaces and improved electronic health record usability

The HHS said the draft "would not prevent existing or new organizations from creating point-to-point or individual agreements between organizations that have a particular business need to exchange information – while preventing potential information blocking – that may be different from those outlined in the proposal."

Importantly, the HHS also issued a user's guide for the framework.

Comments on the draft Trusted Exchange Framework are accepted through February 18, 2018. They can be submitted at exchangeframework@hhs.gov.

Following the public comment period and refinements to the draft document, a final draft of the combined Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement will be released.

2018-01-05T12:20:55-0500
Comments

Accessibility Statement

At MedPage Today, we are committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities can access all of the content offered by MedPage Today through our website and other properties. If you are having trouble accessing www.medpagetoday.com, MedPageToday's mobile apps, please email legal@ziffdavis.com for assistance. Please put "ADA Inquiry" in the subject line of your email.



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