Earlier this week, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology released the second draft of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). This effort aims to create a technical, nationwide framework for health data sharing across different networks and facilities.
The ONC also offered three new TEFCA documents for public comment to form the foundation of a single Common Agreement for health IT providers and users.
This introduces a common set of data exchange principles, outlining mandatory terms and conditions, and details the components of data exchange among qualified health information networks. The ONC and HHS stated that it is focusing on the goals of “providing a single ‘on-ramp’ to nationwide connectivity; ensuring electronic information securely follows you when and where it is needed; and supporting nationwide scalability for network connectivity.”
“The seamless, interoperable exchange of health information is a key piece of building a health system that empowers patients and providers and delivers better care at a lower cost,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in this press release. “The 21st Century Cures Act took an important step toward this goal by promoting a national framework and common agreement for the trusted exchange of health information. We appreciate the comments and input from stakeholders so far and look forward to continued engagement.”
The first version of TEFCA was released in January 2018, and it mandated that patients must be able to easily access their health information electronically, that payers and providers managing population health can receive information allowing them to see trends, outcomes and costs and track progress and that the health IT community should have open and accessible APIs.
According to this recent Healthcare Dive article, the updated TEFCA is open for comments until June 17th, and is different than the first version in these ways:
- Removes the population health data sharing stipulation.
- Extends timelines for participating entities to make the required changes.
- Introduces the first draft of a technical framework for qualified health information networks.
- Updates the purposes for which information can be exchanged in an attempt to improve information flow.
Over the past couple of months, we have been covering all things health data interoperability – which now includes TEFCA updates – with the following content:
- Major EHR Vendors Reveal Their Interoperability Efforts
- Seventy-Five Percent of Hospitals Beyond Basic Level of Interoperability
- The New Definition of Healthcare Interoperability
- PODCAST: Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project, Discusses New Information Blocking Working Group
- Healthcare Interoperability at a Turning Point?
- The Sequoia Project’s New Working Group Focuses on Information Blocking
- Tackling Health Data Interoperability in 2019
To learn more about how RosettaHealth can assist with any health information challenges you might have, book a free consultation with one of our interoperability experts.