WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2017): Health IT Now – a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting health information technology to improve patient outcomes – recently commented on two proposed interoperability measurement frameworks and their potential for moving rapidly towards a better health system.
The National Quality Forum released their proposed Measurement Framework to Assess Nationwide Progress Related to Interoperable Health Information Exchange to Support the National Quality Strategy on March 31, to which Health IT Now issued a formal comment letter. Additionally, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology released their Proposed Interoperability Standards Measurement Framework in April of this year, to which Health IT Now also responded.
Both frameworks are being proposed to help meet the requirements of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, which requires widespread interoperability by December 31, 2018. The framework is intended to measure progress towards this goal, which HITN members support.
As HITN explains in both letters, “Government involvement in the quest to reach interoperability has mostly fallen flat and, in some cases, impeded progress. It is time to turn the tide and let the private sector lead the charge in identifying, developing, and deploying standards to achieve interoperable systems that work for the private sector, not a government program.”
HITN also highlights the fact that NQF and ONC – both funded by HHS – developed and published proposed interoperability measurement frameworks for public input. In both letters, HITN urged NQF and ONC to better define their roles in this process, as well as how and if these frameworks will be reconciled to provide clarity for stakeholders. “Both the right and left hand should know what the other is doing, especially if taxpayers are footing the bill for both frameworks,” said HITN Executive Director Joel White.