ONC solicits public input on Cures Act trusted exchange framework

Chris Nerney
Chris Nerney, Contributing Writer |
ONC solicits public input on Cures Act trusted exchange framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) wants to hear your thoughts about how to implement the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) trusted exchange framework and common agreement.

ONC is accepting public comments through August 25 on topics such as “standardization, transparency, non-discrimination, patient safety, access, and choice,” writes ONC Office of Policy Director Elise Sweeney Anthony in a blog post.

The 21st Century Cures Act, passed late last year with strong bipartisan support, includes $6.3 billion in funding to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of modern cures. The bill’s centerpiece is the $4.8 billion earmarked for the National Institutes of Health to fund the Precision Medicine Initiative championed by former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot,” and the BRAIN initiative to research Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other brain diseases.

ONC is charged with implementing the trusted exchange framework and common agreement provisions in Section 4003 of the Cures Act, which directly addresses interoperability and calls for:

  • Expediting interoperability among EHRs through the development and support of a voluntary model framework and common agreement for the secure exchange of health information to help foster bridging between networks by 1) creating a digital health care provider directory to facilitate exchange, and 2) requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to defer to HIT standards developed in the private sector.
  • Combining and reforming existing HIT Policy and Standards Advisory Committees to create a more streamlined HIT Advisory Committee that would “specifically address issues related to interoperability, privacy, and security.”

ONC kicked off the effort with an inaugural meeting on July 25 that featured National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Don Rucker, Principal Deputy National Coordinator Genevieve Morris, a number of panelists, and more than 500 healthcare stakeholders from across the country participating.

After the comment period closes, two additional sessions will be scheduled later this year. ONC expects to release a draft Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement sometime next year, Anthony said.

Comments can be made here.