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ONC/CMS Principles and Strategy for Accelerating Health Information Exchange and Advancing Interoperability

On August 7, 2013, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)held a webinar and released a paper on on the principles and strategy for accelerating health information exchange.  The webinar and the accompanying paper outline the ONC's existing policies regarding health information exchange and interoperability and include a synthesis of its Request for Information (RFI) issued on March 7, 2013.The RFI contained more than 200 responses from a wide variety of stakeholders.  The RFI responses included the following:

  • Requiring HIE in all advanced payment models and Medicaid waivers;
  • Including long-term care and post-acute care (LTPAC) and behavioral health in state innovation models grants;
  • Directing incentives for LTPAC and behavioral health providers;
  • Requiring electronic HIE standards as regulatory requirements for quality measurement and conditions of participation;
  • Extending Stark and anti-kickback exceptions for donations of electronic health record software;
  • Expanding voluntary HIT certification, including interoperability across the spectrum of care to include LTPAC and behavioral health.

The Principles and Strategy take into account the RFI responses and include the following:

  • Encourage the widespread use of HHS-adopted HIT standards for advancing interoperability and electronic HIE across the health care system;
  • Alignment of HIT standards and specifications for quality measurement and improvement across Medicare and Medicaid;
  • Implementing policies that encourage electronic HIE.

Lastly, the webinar and paper describe the action steps taken by CMS to accelerate HIE, which include the CMS Health Care Innovation Awards, CMS State Innovation Model Initiative, and the 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Future steps and partnerships with states are also included in the webinar and paper.
Click Here For More Information on the ONC Principles and Strategy for Accelerating Health Information Exchange Paper.
Click Here to Download the Webinar.