On April 21, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that, as a response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, it will exercise enforcement discretion to “permit compliance flexibilities” regarding the implementation of the interoperability final rules issued on March 9th, 2020.  This joint announcement was made by the Office of the

On April 19, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a 30-day extension to the comment period for two rules proposed by the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), originally published on March 4, 2019. These rules, discussed

Digital health record

On March 4, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published two proposed rules to improve patient access to personal health data. The two rules, issued by the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), are intended to increase interoperability

On December 22, 2015, the ONC released the 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory, which is meant to serve as a “single resource for those looking for federally recognized, national interoperability standards and guidance,” according to ONC’s Director of the Office of Standards and Technology Steven Posnack, MS, MHS, and Director of HIT Infrastructure and Innovation Division Chris Muir. The standards listed in this advisory focus explicitly on clinical health IT systems’ interoperability.  Specifically, the 2016 Advisory lists existing and emerging standards for different interoperability needs and discusses health information exchange related to areas including lab tests, medications, imaging, electronic prescribing, public health reporting, and clinical decision support.
Continue Reading ONC Releases 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory

In a recently released Data Brief, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) described trends in adoption of Basic EHR and certified EHR in non-federal acute care hospitals from 2008 to 2014.  “Basic EHR represents a minimum use of core functionality determined to be essential to an EHR system.”  “A certified EHR is EHR technology that meets the technological capability, functionality, and security requirements adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services.”  Data cited in the brief are from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Information Technology (IT) Supplement to the AHA Annual Survey.

The Data Brief identifies and discusses four trends.
Continue Reading ONC Data Brief Describes Positive Trends in the Adoption of EHR Systems

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020.  “The Strategic Plan represents a coordinated and focused effort to appropriately collect, share, and use interoperable health information to improve health care, individual, community and public health, and advance research across the federal government in collaboration with private industry.”  In developing the Strategic Plan, ONC collaborated with more than 35 federal agencies.
Continue Reading Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 Open for Comment

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has named Dr. Jon White to replace Dr. Jacob Reider as the Acting Deputy National Coordinator.  Dr. White joined ONC in October on part-time detail from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).  Since then, he has served as interim head of ONC’s