September 13, 2019
Interoperability and patient access to data has been pushed to the forefront as a primary concern for the health industry. This is largely due to proposed rules published this spring by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that seek to advance interoperability and support the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. In August 2019, the ONC held its third annual National Coordinator for Health IT Interoperability Forum in Washington DC. The event brings together the Health IT technology community, developers, policymakers, and staff to promote the goal of interoperability. One of this year’s keynote speakers was the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Principal Deputy Commissioner, Amy Abernethy, M.D. Ph.D.
February 21, 2019
On February 11th, blockchain advocates, digital health enthusiasts, and patients received positive news from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) regarding patient data sharing. These rules, taken together, seek to make data more liquid, which can promote patient access, continuity of care, research, collaboration across the industry and several other activities that previously faced challenges within a health care system built on data silos.
October 18, 2018
On October 16, 2018 the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) announced an update to their previously provided Security Risk Assessment Tool. According to ONC and OCR, the “tool is designed to help healthcare providers conduct a security risk assessment” as required under the HIPAA Security Rule. ONC states that the updated tool includes additional features such as:
January 11, 2018
On January 5, 2018, consistent with the 21st Century Cures Act’s focus on creating interoperability and correspondingly a Trusted Exchange, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) released its “Draft Trusted Exchange Framework” (“Draft Framework”). The Draft Framework is intended to streamline the exchange of Electronic Health Information (“EHI”) so that both health care providers and patients have better access to health information, thus improving communication and quality health care. EHI includes information beyond protected health information, such as health information from other consumer driven devices. ONC has asked for public comments; the comment period is open until February 18, 2018.
August 23, 2016
As requested by Congress as part of an appropriations bill signed into law late last year, this month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report highlighting its e-health and telemedicine efforts. The report makes for interesting reading, and while there are no significant surprises in the report, it offers a clear snapshot of some of the agency’s thinking regarding virtual care.