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A Recap on Last Week's Virtual 26th HL7 FHIR Connectathon

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 21, 2021 12:51:21 PM / by Lindsey Hoggle, MS, RDN, PMP, FAMIA posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Connectathon, Da Vinci, value based care, implementation guide, ONC, FHIR Core, Multiple Chronic Conditions eCare Plan FHIR IG

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A Closer Look at the 26th Virtual HL7 FHIR Connectathon Held January 13-15, 2021

Despite adjusting almost everything in life to a pandemic-driven “new normal” these past ten months, most of us have discovered a few unexpected benefits from the upheaval. Such is the case for the HL7 FHIR Connectathons, which migrated from in-person to virtual beginning with the May 2020 Connectathon. The January Connectathon #26, occurring last week, carries the distinction of being the largest Connectathon yet – with over 800 participants!

The in-person, face-to-face Connectathons of the past provided a rare (and delightful) opportunity to join developers, implementers, clinicians and interested stakeholders in testing and development of FHIR standards. Moving to the virtual format, however, has allowed more people to participate without having to travel to the event.

What Happens at a FHIR Connectathon?

If you are still fuzzy on the detailed activities of Connectathons—and whether you should attend one, there are many avenues where you can learn more. FHIR Connectathons serve as events that are centered upon developing the FHIR specification; including resources, profiles, and implementation guides (IG). The first Connectathon occurred in September 2012 and readily set the stage for future Connectathons that typically occur in the days ahead of an HL7 Working Group Meeting, thereby encouraging members to participate in both.

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The Gravity Project Completes Food Insecurity and Housing Data Identification

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 17, 2020 1:08:31 PM / by HL7 posted in FHIR, interoperability, health IT, implementation guide, COVID-19, Gravity, Social Determinants of Health, SDOH

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Social Determinants of Health Data Matter for National COVID-19 Response Efforts

The Gravity Project is pleased to announce the publication of its consensus recommendations for food insecurity, housing instability and homelessness data elements. The Gravity Project is a national cross sector grassroots informed collective charged with building consensus data elements and data standards for the capture, exchange, and use of social determinants of health (SDOH) information. The Gravity food insecurity and housing data elements are the result of a year of development with input from its over 1,000 participants with intentional representation from key stakeholders such as patients, providers, community based organizations, payors, technology vendors, and federal and academic food insecurity and housing subject matter experts.

Social determinants of health—the circumstances in which we are born, grow, live, work and ageare estimated to account for 80-90% of health. There is growing interest from the healthcare sector to integrate social risk evaluation and intervention to advance the triple aim: improved health outcomes and quality of care while containing costs. In 2018, Gravity founders University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network (SIREN) conducted an assessment of existing SDOH data and found much work was needed to advance the documentation and use of this data. Enter, the Gravity Project. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), a Gravity Project sponsor, noted the growing recognition across healthcare that by capturing and accessing SDOH data during the course of care, providers can more easily address non-clinical factors, such as food, housing and transportation insecurities, which can have a profound impact on a person’s overall health.

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HL7 Launches Project Vulcan FHIR Accelerator Program

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 17, 2020 12:10:29 PM / by Amy Cramer, MMCi, RN, CPHQ posted in FHIR, HL7 community, BioPharma, interoperability, clinical research, implementation guide, FHIR Accelerator

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Multi-stakeholder initiative aims to use widely accepted health care standard to enable data exchange to streamline translational and clinical research

HL7 recently announced the launch of its newest FHIR Accelerator, Project Vulcan, which seeks to use its widely recognized data exchange standards to help health care researchers more effectively acquire, exchange and use data in translational and clinical research.

The effort, called Vulcan, intends to use a model for collaboration among diverse stakeholders in the translational and clinical research community to define a common set of standards that can be implemented internationally, built on current agreements to use the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability (FHIR®) standard to facilitate data exchange.

“Improving data sharing can bring significant benefits to medical research, which is often a time-intensive and costly process that unnecessarily delays progress in discovering treatments for medical conditions because researchers are unable to share critical information,” said HL7 International CEO Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, “Project Vulcan aims to develop common solutions to help partners overcome these challenges.”

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HL7 Event Provides Training to Prepare for Implementing APIs

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 14, 2020 4:08:44 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, implementation guide, CARIN Alliance

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The Virtual FHIR Patient Access API Implementation Event Scheduled for  August 17-19

The start of the New Year will see healthcare organizations facing new requirements for using application programming interfaces (API) to facilitate the sharing of healthcare information.

That’s made clear by the recent release of final rules by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which will be the first step in enabling data access.

To help support healthcare organizations in this shift, HL7 is holding the virtual FHIR Patient Access API Implementation event next week. With the impending final rule and the looming implementation deadline, this event will be narrowly focused on the requirements for patient access APIs by payers.

The goals for this Implementation-a-thon and associated educational events are to inform the broader community of the work HL7 FHIR Accelerators have done to lay the groundwork for meeting the final rules; and to help participants prepare for the September HL7 FHIR Connectathon and 34th Annual Plenary & Working Group Meeting.

Education and specific planning in API implementation in a FHIR environment will be important for the industry, as these recently released federal rules require that consumers be able to access their medical information through third-party apps, and that will place pressure on healthcare organizations to develop APIs to enable this access. The HL7 Da Vinci Project continues to develop use cases that will facilitate this patient access to information.

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Partners Collaborate on Effort to Use Da Vinci Project’s DEQM to Exchange Quality Measurements for Patients

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 14, 2020 8:32:37 AM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, Da Vinci, value based care, DEQM, implementation guide, accountable care

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Recap of the July Session of the HL7 Da Vinci Community Roundtable

Joint project involves Rush Health, Cigna and InterSystems to use HL7 FHIR Resources to coordinate on three quality measures.

The healthcare industry increasingly has long recognized the importance of data measurement in improving healthcare quality. But it’s not enough for organizations to gather and hoard data – it needs to be shared between providers and payers.

Data sharing, as instantaneously as possible, has become more important as payers and providers collaborate in accountable care organizations and other arrangements that incentivize improving patient outcomes. To date, the exchange of information has been labor intensive, but the use of emerging data exchange standards is enabling more precise data exchange when and where provider teams need it.

Efforts to improve data exchange on quality measures are underway in a collaboration between Cigna, healthcare technology vendor InterSystems and Rush Health, a clinically integrated network of healthcare providers and hospitals in the Chicago area. The partners are using the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard to support the initiative.

Representatives from the partnering organizations described their efforts to date at a Community Roundtable hosted by the HL7 Da Vinci Project on Wednesday, July 22. While FHIR connectivity had not been implemented in live production systems as of that date, the organizations had tested functionality in a non-production environment and continue to work, committing to regular meetings and consistent communication on the project until the scheduled go-live.

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HL7 FHIR-enabled APIs to Help Payers Meet CMS Requirements for Data Sharing

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 7, 2020 9:01:07 AM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, implementation guide, payer data exchange

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Recap of the June Session of the HL7 Da Vinci Community Roundtable

The HL7 Da Vinci Community Roundtable held June 24, showcased work that is continuing on applications that can seamlessly deliver healthcare data to consumers using application programming interfaces (APIs) to pull data from payers’ information systems.

The pressure is on to deliver the functionality, and soon. Final rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require payers to make claims payment data and other patient or member clinical information available to consumers with no obstacles, ideally through simple apps that query for, gather and organize the data in meaningful ways that create value for the user.

HHS rules require HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard to be used to support this process, and application vendors have already deployed products that are being used by consumers. Three such app developers demonstrated how their applications work using payer-based data and described the underlying technology at the community roundtable.

CMS Final Rule & Da Vinci Implementation Guides

The final rules call for payers to provide healthcare data to members through the use of FHIR-based APIs, as well as using a similar methodology to make provider directories available to patients. The CMS rules require that CMS-regulated payers allow patients to easily access their claims and encounter information, including cost, as well as a defined subset of their clinical information through third-party app developers of their choice, as long as that data is being maintained by the payer organization.  The CMS implementation resources for pending rules mentions a number of implementation guides developed by the Da Vinci Project to meet the regulations: Payer Data Exchange: Provider Directory (Plan-Net) to share details on available providers and pharmacies for a particular plan design, Payer Data Exchange for payers to share clinical data, and access to clear formulary information to support patient choice capabilities regarding prescription drugs and potential purchasing alternatives through Payer Data Exchange: Formulary.

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HL7 Da Vinci Project Shows the Value of Collaboration to Build FHIR Tools

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 30, 2020 3:28:32 PM / by Sagran Moodley posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, implementation guide, eCR

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I like to describe the solutions that the HL7 Da Vinci Project and the other HL7 FHIR accelerator programs are creating to build something useful and large out of LEGO blocks.

In the Da Vinci initiative, a cadre of talented technical experts have worked since September 2018 to take the pieces of HL7 FHIR coding and adapt them to real-world solutions that reflect the demands for bi-directional information exchange in support of value-based care arrangements.

Currently, members from 49 organizations are working on a range of use cases that will serve as blueprints for how to address vexing problems in data exchange that must be solved for the nation’s healthcare system to become more efficient.

In one such instance, a payer and three provider organizations in the Pacific Northwest are partnering on a new data-sharing approach. The initiative will use Da Vinci use cases for medication reconciliation and develop an implementation guide that will provide a standard, consistent approach that employs FHIR, to enable easy exchange of data between the providers and the payer.

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FHIR's Role in Enabling Quality Measurement Gets a Closer Look at Community Roundtable

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 18, 2020 12:32:40 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, Da Vinci, value based care, Data Exchange for Qualitiy Measures, implementation guide

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HL7 Da Vinci Project Event Wednesday, July 22, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. EDT

Quality measurement is a key factor in improving the delivery of care, especially in value-based care arrangements. And it has become clear that as the shift to value-based care continues, the need for payer-provider collaboration has become essential.

The exchange of data among healthcare industry members can help organizations improve quality, and HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) can play a significant role. The next Community Roundtable hosted by the HL7 Da Vinci Project entitled “What It Takes: How to Leverage the HL7 Da Vinci Project to Drive Quality Measurement and Value-Based Care,” will examine how organizations are making progress in sharing information for quality purposes.

The roundtable discussion will begin with Jocelyn Keegan, the Da Vinci program manager, providing an overview on the status, maturity and resources available for emerging implementations across Da Vinci focus areas.

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HL7 Da Vinci Project Use Cases Aim to Reduce Documentation Burden in VBC

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 16, 2020 4:09:54 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, SMART on FHIR, health IT, implementation, Da Vinci, value based care, implementation guide, prior authorization, coverage requirements discovery, documentation templates and payer rules

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Report from Virtual FHIR DevDays 2020 on HL7 Da Vinci Project Use Cases

Developers are fine-tuning ways to use the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard to reduce communication challenges and decision impediments between providers and payers.

Working on use cases involving coverage and burden reduction, the HL7 Da Vinci Project is refining early versions of standards and developing implementation guides for value based care (VBC). Speaking to more than 150 attendees during the virtual HL7 FHIR DevDays event, Dr. Viet Nguyen, Da Vinci Project Technical Director, noted that the coverage and burden reduction use cases are intended to address workflows around provider-payer interactions. FHIR implementation guides are then created based on a set of use cases. 

Coverage Requirements Discovery

One use case, Coverage Requirements Discovery, gives providers real-time access to payer approval requirements, documentation and rules at point of service to reduce provider burden and support treatment planning. In its essence, this would answer a provider’s question about whether a procedure or treatment needs a prior authorization from a payer. The aim is to use CDS Hooks to supply an answer to a clinician posing the request within his or her workflow. Work is continuing on developing an implementation guide for this use case.

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HL7 FHIR for HIEs: State Health Information Network for New York

[fa icon="calendar'] Jul 2, 2020 2:26:54 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, health IT, implementation guide, COVID-19, public health

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Report from Virtual FHIR DevDays 2020

A New York State initiative is aiming to change its approach for exchanging patients’ health information among the state’s health information exchanges, using HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard as the conduit.

In addition, the new approach being implemented for the State Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY) has taken less time to develop and is expected to enable the exchange of more granular patient data than is possible with the current approach.

Speaking at the HL7 FHIR DevDays virtual meeting on June 15, Luke Doles, senior director of services management for the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), said further implementation of the FHIR-based framework has been delayed because of the urgency to shift resources to support the state’s COVID-19 response. However, the initiative has thus far proven that the concept can be expanded to provide more information across SHIN-NY.

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