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Industry Perspectives

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eHI Executive Summary of Interim Final Rule

November 11, 2020

Background:

In December of 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law, and in March 2020, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its 21st Century Cures Final Rule (“Final Rule”) in order to implement key provisions of the law. This Final Rule was set to go into effect on June 30, 2020. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the health care industry shifted focus and resources to caring for patients impacted by the virus.

Although ONC previously announced a delay of many compliance deadlines to November 2, 2020, many of the key actors did not feel ready or prepared to comply due to COVID-19. The purpose of this Interim Final Rule (IFC) letter is to outline the newly delayed compliance dates. This will allow actors to continue focusing primarily on combating COVID-19, without the added pressure of meeting strict compliance rules. The flexibility of these dates aims to strike a balance between relieving pressure on actors and care providers, while also working to establish greater interoperability to enhance patient care in a timely manner.

Download the full summary below. 

eHealth Initiative Releases Survey on ONC and CMS Final Rules

November 11, 2020

eHealth Initiative Releases Survey on ONC and CMS Final Rules

Survey Provides Insights on Industry Readiness to Comply with Regulations

The eHealth Initiative (eHI) released the results of a survey on industry readiness to meet the requirements of the ONC Cures Act and CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rules by the applicability date. The survey provides insight into industry awareness of the regulation, impact of COVID-19 on implementation, and readiness to comply.

Key Findings of the Readiness Survey

  • Payers, providers, and vendors each identified implementing and maintaining the Patient Access Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as a top area of concern (43%)
  • Providers indicated the greatest impact of COVID-19 on their readiness (57%) in comparison to the other groups
  • 47% of the respondents indicated preparedness to meet the applicability date
  • The biggest data challenges to overcome are lack of data standardization (47%), lack of technical operability (44%) and shared data quality (44%)
  • 44% of respondents identified that readiness is most impacted by the lack of prioritization across the industry due to internal competing priorities
  • Payers and providers are most concerned with cost in choosing a vendor, with the former more willing to accept vendor assistance than the latter

“Despite the recent delays that push back the applicability date of many of the requirements in the Final Rules, the results reveal that payers, providers, and vendors have several areas of concern related to readiness,” said Jen Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. “For example, providers have been most significantly impacted by the current pandemic, but all stakeholder groups remained concerned about the capability to implement and maintain Patient Access APIs.”

Maverick Health Intelligence: Only What Matters on Health Information Policy (article)

September 03, 2020

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has at least one friend, and no, it is not Mark Zuckerberg -- her name is Alice. On a webinar to explain the eHealth Initiative and Center for Democracy & Technology’s Draft Consumer Privacy Framework for Health Data, eHI’s VP and Senior Counsel Alice Leiter announced that the new framework is an effort to “help out the FTC” so the agency is not overwhelmed by having to police every element of health data that is not regulated by HIPAA. The purpose is to propose a comprehensive consumer health data protection scheme, like GDPR or CCPA, and to complement or go further than other self-regulatory codes of conduct (CARIN Alliance, FTC Best Practices for Mobile Health App Developers, Network Advertising Initiative). The draft tries hard to define the ever-elusive concept of “consumer health data” and proposes specific protections and natural exceptions (i.e., research, to prevent death or injury). With Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funds, this was a serious effort with serious experts contributing serious time -- even the Better Business Bureau is being considered as a possible home for the new membership entity that vets, enrolls, and monitors its members. Maybe take a look at the draft and comment by September 25, 2020 -- just email FTC’s BFF at alice@ehidc.org. Alice may be the best friend the FTC has had in a long time.

Draft Guidelines Introduced to Protect Consumer Data on mHealth Platforms (mHealth Intelligence Article)

September 03, 2020

Draft Guidelines Introduced to Protect Consumer Data on mHealth Platforms

The Draft Consumer Privacy Framework for Health Data aims to set standards for the collection, use and protection of health data on smartwatches, fitness bands, mHealth apps and other consumer-facing technology.

CDT, eHI Unveil Draft Consumer Health Data Privacy Framework (Article, Health IT Security)

September 03, 2020

CDT, eHI Unveil Draft Consumer Health Data Privacy Framework

Drafted in collaboration with providers, tech giants, and advocacy groups, the consumer health data privacy framework provides standards for health data not protected by HIPAA regulations.

The 2020 Virtual Care Report: Navigating Patient Care in a Post-COVID World

August 20, 2020

In order to learn about the economic impact of COVID-19, how perceptions of telehealth have changed and how it will be used post- COVID-19, Updox surveyed more than 650 physicians1 and more than 1,200 consumers.2 Their responses underscore the need to continue investing in virtual care solutions across the entire patient experience and ensuring reimbursement follows suit. Read on to learn what the data says about the state of virtual care post-COVID, and what the industry needs to do to ensure long-term payment reform.

How Technology Has Changed the Role of Nursing

August 13, 2020

As healthcare technology evolves, nurses serve on the front lines of applying the latest advancements to serve their patients with increasing efficiency and effectiveness. In fact, by 2017, more than 95% of all hospitals in the U.S. had adopted certified electronic medical record (EMR) systems.

Technology continues to shift the nursing field in many ways, with the pace of change expected to increase with time. Read on to find information on how this will take shape, whether nurses can expect to be replaced by technology, and recent trends and advancements in healthcare.

Insights from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Payers: Addressing Social Determinants of Health and Advancing Health Equity

August 10, 2020

This report outlines several key findings, which were developed after convening pharmaceutical manufacturers, health plans, community based SDOH programs, patient advocacy organizations, and other experts. Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. participated and provided financial support for development of the report. Findings addressed in the report include:

  • Using COVID-19 as a catalyst for change
  • The role of data in advancing health equity
  • A shared SDOH framework
  • Tools for putting SDOH into action
  • Using data to understand health while addressing social risk
  • Appropriate use of SDOH
  • SDOH and health literacy
  • Positive benefits of SDOH

“The pandemic has revealed dramatic disparities in testing, care, treatment and health outcomes across minority populations” said Jen Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. “It was encouraging to learn about the different partnerships that pharmaceutical manufacturers and payers are leveraging to tackle the issues.”