HHS Seeks Help With Health Exchanges

Department puts out request for information.

The federal government is calling for suggestions on how to set up and manage a secure national network for exchanging health information digitally.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has developed a draft proposal for the national health information exchange. The request for information by the Health and Human Services Department asks for opinions as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT develops draft proposals. The RFI was released May 11 in the preview section of the Federal Register, Government Health IT reports. It is scheduled to be published May 15. HHS requests “broad input” on topics including:

  • Creating a voluntary program to validate that entities facilitating electronic health information exchange conform to “conditions for trusted exchange,” or CTEs.
  • Setting the scope and requirements of the initial CTEs.
  • Developing processes for revising and updating CTEs.
  • Establishing a process to classify the readiness for adopting technical standards and specifications to support CTEs relating to interoperability.

“(A)bsent a common set of rules to guide its development and nationwide expansion, electronic exchange has been governed by a patchwork of contractual relationships, procurement requirements, state and federal laws, and industry self-regulation through accreditation and certification,” according to the RFI. “Consequently, this ad-hoc governance approach has led to asymmetries in the policies and technical standards, which are evident in the various local, regional and state electronic exchange activities.”

Written comments are due 30 days after the May 15 publication date.