From Information Blocking to Information Sharing – A Look at HTI-1 and TEFCA

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) keeps releasing new rules to address the urgent need for data exchange. The  Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) was followed recently by the  Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Certification Program Updates, Algorithm Transparency, and Information Sharing (HTI-1) Final Rule. In this video, Jill DeGraff, Senior Vice President, Regulatory at b.well Connected Health goes deeply into these new rules and explains their value as well as the demands they place on health care systems.

Hopefully, interoperability will result in a “connected healthcare ecosystem” that enables payers, providers, and pharmacies to be more efficient and deliver a better experience to patients and doctors alike. Patients will have access to data and can share it across healthcare systems. Open scheduling will finally become common. Systems such as b.well can take note of a “care gap” and help close it.

ONC itself has emerged from its negative focus on “information blocking.” (Although deliberate blocking does sometimes take place, access to data is usually difficult for structural reasons.) Now ONC likes to talk on the positive side of “information sharing.”

Patients are a major source of pressure for interoperability and data sharing. DeGraff urges companies to think of both data interoperability and system interoperability. Following on the government rules that standardize prior authorizations, DeGraff looks forward to payer-to-provider APIs, payer-to-payer APIs, and more.

The video gets into a number of details that can be helpful to all these health care systems. For instance, DeGraff distinguishes TEFCA from FHIR-based APIs, which offer important features such as “push” notifications. (A FHIR Roadmap for TEFCA Exchange has also been released, though.) She looks at how the new HTI-1 rule helps legacy systems be integrated.

Watch the video for more insights on the interoperability rules, and as DeGraff says, “just get started.”

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