In comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recommended that the government explore ways to expand the concept of certification to the health information exchange (HIE) marketplace as a way to advance interoperability.
The comments are in response to a request for information (RFI) sent by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology in regards to policies and programs that could advance HIE and interoperability. CHIME says the certification process developed under the EHR Incentive Payments program has had a “major impact on the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.”
As a result, CHIME says the concept should be extended to the HIE market through “standard interfaces, standard methods for isolating sensitive information, standard means to securely transport patient care information (such as the Direct program), standard ways to accurately identify patients, and standard protocols for tracking consent.” In addition, CHIME says the payment model changes, underway at the CMS already, will enhance interoperability because it will give providers a strong business case to exchange health information.
“CHIME believes CMS should continue the evolution of payment policies towards pay-for-value and away from fee-for-service,” the letter said, offering a warning about blanket mandates to participate in exchange. “While we believe any model of accountable care delivery cannot be successful without robust technology usage, CHIME believes that forcing miscellaneous exchange through requirements for participation, receipt of incentive payments, or avoidance of payment adjustments is a serious proposition – one that needs broad input from stakeholders.”
CHIME’s entire comments can be read here.