During eHealth Initiative’s (eHI) 2019 Executive Leadership Summit, eHI members convened to discuss health information technology and legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Through these discussions, four main themes emerged as areas in which eHI should focus its strategy and programming:
- Price Transparency
- Privacy & Security
The following includes a more detailed description of each focus area, including background information and eHI’s goals and strategies to address challenges within that area. A critical component of these strategies will be a series of Task Forces in each of the four areas. The Task Forces, composed of eHI members and relevant industry thought leaders, will work toward one or more deliverables that will heavily contribute to eHI’s work for 2019 and ultimately advance industry progress in these four areas. To learn more please contact Claudia Ellison at Claudia.Ellison@ehidc.org or Kayli Davis at Kayli.Davis@ehidc.org. To see upcoming meetings, please see eHI's event page.
Background: The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and the 21st Century Cures Act have placed interoperability at the forefront of health information technology. As organizations seek out improved technical standards that make interoperability easier, FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) and the Da Vinci Project have been gaining more traction. These standards for exchanging healthcare information were created by Health Level Seven (HL7). The lack of electronic health record interoperability and difficulties in sharing patient data continue to be major barriers to healthcare, resulting in waste, inefficiencies, clinical burnout, and risk to patient safety. DaVinci specifications and FHIR are core to future interoperability, but many executives in provider and payer organizations do not understand their importance or function in data sharing. It is critical non-technical executives understand these programs, in order to ensure their adoption by 2021.
Goal: eHI will promote the adoption of FHIR by healthcare executives through the identification and dissemination of best practices and educational materials in the areas of FHIR and interoperability.
Strategy: eHI will convene a series of virtual task force meetings to identify best practices, communication strategies, and educational materials for targeted stakeholder groups to help promote the adoption of FHIR.
FHIR Communications Task Force: This task force will develop a guidance document providing key messaging to communicate the value of FHIR to targeted stakeholder groups. Task force members will also develop a list of recommended speakers and identify key points to be used as content for a webinar highlighting eHI’s FHIR initiatives. Timeframe: 5 virtual meetings; May – September 2019.
FHIR Best Practices Task Force: The task force will identify best practices on the use of FHIR using DaVinci as a use case. eHI staff will develop a summary of the identified best practices based on task force discussion. Taskforce members will review the summary, develop a list of recommended speakers, and identify key points to be used as content for a webinar highlighting eHI’s FHIR initiatives. Timeframe: 4 virtual meetings; July – October 2019.
Background: Until recently, volume-based care was the standard for the United States healthcare system. With a value-based reimbursement structure becoming more commonplace, patients are becoming active consumers of healthcare services. A lack of cost transparency for those services hinders their ability to make informed decisions. Most patients and their physicians have little to no understanding of the true cost of care or pricing. As consumers face increased out-of-pocket spending, there is a need for a systematic approach to increase cost transparency and empower consumers.
Goal: eHI will increase understanding of cost and price transparency by healthcare executives from the patient perspective through the identification and dissemination of best practices, recommendations, and educational materials in the area of cost and price transparency.
Strategy: eHI will convene a series of virtual task force meetings to gather input from multiple stakeholders to outline the challenges, pain points, and best practices associated with cost transparency and identify ways to educate healthcare providers on the nuances of true cost of pricing and out-of-pocket spending for consumers.
Price Transparency Communication Task Force: This task force will focus on the communication of cost and price transparency to both healthcare providers and consumers, highlighting numerous best practices in both areas, including:
- Educating healthcare providers on the nuances of true cost of pricing and out-of-pocket spending for consumers, using both elective and non-elective procedures
- Providers and hospitals communicating price transparency to consumers
Additionally, the task force will review current federal initiatives to promote price transparency, including an update on the CMS Price Transparency Rule of 2019. eHI staff will develop a summary of the identified best practices based on task force discussion. Taskforce members will review the summary, develop a list of recommended speakers, and identify key points to be used as content for a webinar highlighting eHI’s price transparency initiatives. Timeframe: 6 virtual meetings; May – October 2019.
Privacy and Security
Background: The rise of consumer-facing healthcare websites, mHealth apps, and connected medical devices has raised new privacy and security challenges regarding the collection and sharing of health data. The existing health information privacy regulatory framework, which is built around HIPAA and state privacy laws, was not designed for the rapidly changing digital landscape driving State and Federal agencies to develop regulations. Although the laws are designed to protect all involved, they can create barriers to exchanging and accessing data. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act introduces burdensome obligations, most of which were previously unseen by American companies and several of which present questions about implementation.
Goal: eHI will increase stakeholder awareness of current regulations and how they are supporting consumer privacy and/or negatively impacting consumer directed healthcare companies through the dissemination of valuable, actionable information.
Strategy: eHI will convene a series of virtual task force meetings to identify and discuss best practices related to privacy and security and the exchange and access of patient data.
Privacy and Security Best Practices Task Force: This task force will identify best practices for payers, providers, and vendors in removing barriers to exchange and access of data and provide details on current legislation and regulation. The task force will also identify potential state associations or healthcare organizations to share intelligence and information on key state privacy and security law developments. Timeframe: 4 virtual meetings; May – August 2019.
Background: While the healthcare industry has the potential of using non-traditional sources of data, such as social determinants of health, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics in impacting health outcomes and costs, it is less clear how to define, measure, collect, and share this data.
Goal: eHI will increase industry and policy maker awareness of the value of non-traditional data in healthcare.
Strategy: eHI will convene a series of virtual task force meetings that will highlight best practices, challenges, and solutions around the use of non-traditional data.
Data Access & Use Task Force: This task force will identify best practices regarding access and use of data for predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and social determinants of health. Task force will also identify challenges, solutions, and usability of data. eHI staff will develop a summary of the identified best practices based on task force discussion. Taskforce members will review the summary, develop a list of recommended speakers, and identify key points to be used as content for a best practices webinar. Timeframe: 5 virtual meetings; May – September 2019.