• Julie Barnes

September 17, 2020

Maverick's Update

Only What Matters On Health Information Policy

Maverick Health Policy is really quite opinionated. Apparently, people who buy interoperability solutions are not. Turns out that when given a chance to applaud or complain about HL7 version 28 interfaces (the most commoditized interoperability service, if you don’t know) no one said anything. Well, nine people said something during the entire 15 months the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the University of California, San Francisco hosted a website called “InteropSelect” so they could gather reviews of these products. Are these the same people that annoyingly stay at an Airbnb and fail to offer a review so the rest of us accidentally rent places that need to be dipped in bleach?

Other health information news:

  • The Wall Street Journal’s “Future of Everything” series explores how the pandemic is likely to give rise to new and different health data privacy laws that emphasize sharing for public health purposes over individual privacy rights. This strikes us as a wee bit positive-thinking-ish. In fact, a Pew Charitable Trusts survey released on Sept. 16 found that 56% of participants are “not comfortable at all” downloading their medical data to an app that is not “pre-approved” and the pandemic didn’t change their answer.

  • The Office of Civil Rights announced five separate settlements with providers for HIPAA Right of Access violations.

  • NIH awarded grants to several companies to develop digital health solutions for COVID-19-related problems.

One Thoughtful Paragraph

One of the many things that has taken far too long to modernize in health care is quality measures -- that is, how we figure out what helps an individual patient and how to avoid the overuse, underuse and misuse of health care services. That’s why we really want to be excited about digital quality measurement. We are very aware that doctors and the people who employ them or they employ, really hate electronic medical records, which does not bode well for anything electronic in health care. But so many good people have been working on creating Clinical Quality Language -- an HL7 standard that uses data model-agnostic language that both machines and humans can read -- that we have high hopes. Carolyn Clancy outlines here how quality measures have evolved and adapted to modern times. The NCQA uses words like “effortless” to describe their electronic measures and they wrote a great blog post about it. The president of Apertiva seems gung-ho about their new cloud-based digital quality measurement platform, saying that the interoperability rules will help drive digital measurement, and doctors can look forward to “simple-to-comprehend dashboards” and regulatory reporting will be completed with “a click of a button.” Simple and quick are just what the doctor ordered.

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