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  • Writer's pictureJulie Barnes

February 17, 2023

Maverick's Update

Only What Matters in Health Information Policy

To help us all look forward to something, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are bringing their unique brand of comedy to four cities beginning in April. Tickets for the show go on sale today, offering Ticketmaster another opportunity to anger everyone with impossible-to-get tickets. Tina and Amy are totally hilarious together, after starting out in ensemble comedy (most famously on Saturday Night Live). We recognize the power of good ensemble work, even when it is not funny, in the One Thoughtful Paragraph.

Other ensemble news this week about health information:

  • The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), a group of 600 organizations including Apple, Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Verizon, announced that it is building a standards and certification program for health and wellness technology. CSA will support aging-in-place and independent living by utilizing data generated from connected smart home devices and later expand to other home health and wellness devices and use cases, like remote patient monitoring, chronic condition management, and acute care in the home.

  • The AMA Future of Health report urged hospitals and health systems to implement simple, patient- and physician-centric technology platforms and care models to realize the full potential of digital health. Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, and One Medical are cited as examples of companies that prioritize effective digital health integration.

  • A Duke University study found that data brokers are taking advantage of telehealth and therapy apps to collect and sell Americans’ mental health data.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

This week, the HHS Office of National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) recognized an ensemble of organizations who agreed to be subjected to a year-long testing process to become QHINs under TEFCA. Not to worry, these six entities are not suffering from a terrible disease and this is not a clinical trial to cure them (we asked). Instead, this means that Epic, CommonWell Health Alliance, eHealth Exchange, Health Gorilla, Kno2 and KONZA were all talked into helping (Mariann Yeager must be very persuasive) the federal government create a nationwide health information exchange platform. To be a QHIN is like being a Queen of data sharing -- as the acronym implies if you mispronounce it slightly. The would-be QHINs, who each have copious amounts of health data, will share their data according to the two parts of TEFCA: the Trusted Exchange Framework (standards to follow when sharing data) and in accordance with the Common Agreement (the legal agreement that governs information-sharing). The whole point of TEFCA is to make sure that patient records are shared whenever they need to be to get patients the care that they need. We applaud this important goal, but we are fairly sure that this year-long process will not be entertaining or fun to watch. Maybe watch this instead.

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