Monday, April 25, 2016

Help Inform the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Measurement of Interoperability

The ONC asking for your input on ways to measure the progress toward a future where health information is flowing between providers and patients to supports a health system that provides better care, smarter spending, and healthier people. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) declares it a national objective to achieve the widespread exchange of health information through the use of interoperable certified electronic health records and directs HHS to establish metrics in consultation with you – the health IT community – to see if that objective has been met.

The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan is a collaboration with over 35 federal partners and the public which focuses federal offices that use or influence the use of health information technology on person-centered care, advancement of science, and overall health. The central theme of the Strategic Plan is ensuring health data flows seamlessly and securely to create a learning-based, person-centered health system.

Similarly, the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap was an effort by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in collaboration with the private sector, states, and federal partners to identify near-term actions to advance an interoperable health system.

Combined with the recent announcements of private sector market leaders to make EHR information flow more efficiently, these efforts all help to support the flow of health information when and where it is needed for patient care. (See our 3/1/16 post “Health Groups Aim to Make Medical Records Easier to Access” here.)

The ONC is issuing a request for information for your thoughts on how to measure interoperability and ensure HHS is keeping pace with the objectives laid out in the Roadmap and the Federal Health IT Strategic plan to measure the broad health information ecosystem, including individuals and non-health settings. Specifically, the ONC is asking for input on:

1.       What populations and elements of information flow should we measure?
2.      How can we use current data sources and associated metrics to address the MACRA requirements?
3.      What other data sources and metrics should HHS consider to measure interoperability more broadly?

The public comment period closes on June 3, 2016. View and download the request for information here and view the original posting here

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