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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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Roundtable Offers Glimpse of an HL7 FHIR Implementation and Da Vinci Project’s Progress

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 22, 2020 3:17:45 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, Data Exchange for Qualitiy Measures, ONC, notifications

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Anthem, Cedars-Sinai, and CareEvolution to share on project to implement Data Exchange for Quality Measures and Event Notification on Wednesday, October 28

Like peeling back the layers of an onion, exchanging information to support value-based care involves complex data challenges for providers and payers alike.

That’s particularly true when it comes to navigating essential communications between providers and payers, using that dialogue to better coordinate care and achieve the best possible results for patients.

Two key areas that challenge everyone is ensuring that quality measures are met and that everyone in the chain is on the same page when it comes to events. Typically, these are hard for all parties in sharing relevant information.

HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard offers an approach that everyone can use to facilitate data exchanges. In an upcoming community roundtable scheduled for 4 to 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 28, HL7 Da Vinci Project members Anthem, Cedars-Sinai and CareEvolution will discuss their efforts to put implementation guides for Data Exchange for Quality Measures and Event Notification in place.

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HL7 Da Vinci Project Plans Education Event to Get Organizations Ready for Federal Rules

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 19, 2020 11:24:03 AM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, ONC

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Time is ticking away on healthcare organizations, who face fast approaching federal deadlines to improve the sharing of information to give patients access to their payer data. Additionally, the tools to reduce clinician burden and improve clinical data exchange between payers and providers are rapidly maturing.

The good news is that HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard is the tool that organizations can use to meet new requirements for data sharing. Use cases and accompanying implementation guides from the HL7 Da Vinci Project offer specific, standardized ways for organizations to use plug-and-play technologies with multiple other organizations.

But for many organizations, now the works begins in earnest. Implementing Da Vinci use cases will require input from IT departments and testing with a variety of partners. Fortunately, an upcoming Da Vinci Project event aims to equip participants with the necessary knowledge to get off the ground successfully.

HL7 is offering a Da Vinci-focused Education and FHIR Implementation Event on October 27 to 29, open to both members and non-members. The event goals are to educate the health IT community about HL7 FHIR and FHIR implementation guides develop by the Da Vinci Project and the CARIN Alliance.

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Drinking from the FHIR Hose: A Newbie's Perspective on HL7 and the Da Vinci Project FHIR Accelerator

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 9, 2020 3:09:44 PM / by Vanessa Candelora posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, ONC, FHIR Accelerator, FHIR Connectathon

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Just over one month ago, I leaped into  HL7 FHIR through involvement of the Da Vinci Project. Having worked in the healthcare technology industry for more than 10 years aligned with implementers of payer-provider workflows, data reporting and analytics, it was compelling to see how the proverbial “sausage is made” in the standards world. I made my debut by attending the HL7 FHIR Patient Access API Implementation event in August and I have since attended the September HL7 Connectathon.

Here are three key takeaways from my first month in the FHIR community.

The Room Where it Happens: Developing a Standard Doesn’t Transpire Behind Closed Doors By the Elite.

As an implementer reading a standards’ implementation guide (IG), it’s inevitable to reach a point of confusion where you say to yourself, “Clearly the writer of this didn’t consider my business need.” HL7 has a robust process that prioritizes adoption and reaching consensus among the public community before stamping approval on a standard. The continuous improvement method includes one or more balloting cycles (where the public community essentially critiques the IG and provides detailed feedback) as well as multiple connectathons (at which IGs are tested against by the community), providing ample opportunity for feedback from the community to evolve the IG. The HL7 Da Vinci Project, as well as other FHIR accelerators, have reference implementation prototypes, documented examples, sample test scripts and weekly calls open to the public, encouraging participation throughout the development lifecycle.

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Initiatives Aim to Solve Barriers to Wider Use of FHIR and Reduce Provider Burden

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 24, 2020 2:52:03 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, ONC, FAST, DRLS

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Recap of the August Da Vinci Project Community Roundtable on DRLS and FAST

As the HL7 Da Vinci Project continues to make rapid progress in developing use cases to enable the exchange of healthcare information, work has been underway to test and widely deploy these cases among industry players.

Efforts led by federal agencies have been in motion to use solutions based on HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard at scale, as well as to incorporate FHIR use cases in a federal initiative that developed and tested a prototype to demonstrate the capability to streamline clinical workflow access to coverage requirements.

Presenters at a Da Vinci Project community roundtable on August 26 said the initiatives are important in bringing the benefits of automated information exchange throughout the healthcare industry, while taking steps to reduce the burden on providers.

The FAST Initiative
In one initiative, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is convening a FHIR at Scale Taskforce (FAST) that brings together a representative group of motivated healthcare industry stakeholders. FAST aims to take use cases that are being demonstrated in initial efforts between partners in the industry and ensure that they can operate more broadly.

“In building solutions for FHIR for interoperability, we realize that individual solutions are being developed to work between one endpoint and another,” said Stephen Konya, senior advisor to ONC and the Department of Health and Human Services. “When we start to roll these out at scale – when there’s a large number of payers sharing a large amount of data with a large number of providers – the game changes.”

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CMS Interoperability Rule and Impact of COVID-19

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 8, 2020 1:16:05 PM / by Shobhit Saran posted in FHIR, interoperability, health IT, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, ONC, CARIN Alliance, payer data exchange, USCDI

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the much-awaited Interoperability & Patient Access Rule in early March this year. This rule establishes policies that aim to break down barriers in the health system across the US for better patient engagement. Government bodies are taking significant efforts for governments-sponsored health plans to adopt interoperability to make healthcare system efficient. Multiple initiatives by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its CMS and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) aim to improve care-coordination and member experience. CMS had proposed the Interoperability & Patient Access Rule to support regulations of the MyHealthEData initiative, with implementation timelines to drive programs such as BlueButton, BlueButton 2.0 and Data at the Point of Care.

In the times of pandemic, healthcare organizations have realized the importance of having access to data for better care coordination and efficient care delivery. With seamless data access, organizations can:

  • Share health data of beneficiaries with different care teams
  • Identify high-risk population and implement preventive actions to control risk
  • Leverage tele-health with access to patient historical health data
  • Take timely decisions on emergency treatments based on patient medication history
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Integrated Approach for Radiology and Clinical Information to Support Clinical Decision Making

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 28, 2020 10:17:32 AM / by Shujah Dasgupta posted in FHIR, interoperability, health IT, CMS, ONC, radiology, USCDI

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Limitations in existing healthcare interoperability present a significant barrier to next-gen computing solutions such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). New workflow standards aimed at addressing the integration of AI/ML actors to clinicians in delivering better patient care.

One of the main limitations of standards is streamlining access to data from electronic medical record (EMR) applications. There is a growing need for a holistic view of patient data, and the inclusion of the allied healthcare services such as radiology will play a crucial role in building a 360° patient view. This will help healthcare professionals take accurate and informed decision on patient care, and bridge the gap between fragmented and siloed information that is currently limiting hospitals and healthcare systems from gaining insights to drive better health outcomes.

To seek better exchange of health data among providers and patients, the Health and Human Services (HHS) published final rules that put patients first and bring one step closer to achieving Interoperability. The ONC’s (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) rule aims to standardize API via HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) R4, a latest version of the FHIR standard, and making its use mandatory under this rule.

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CMS, ONC to Offer Updates on Initiatives that Will Rely on FHIR Standards

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 20, 2020 4:33:22 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, ONC, FAST, DRLS

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Community Roundtable scheduled for August 26 will detail progress toward DRLS and FAST

The HL7 Da Vinci Project’s August Community Roundtable features updates on two initiatives that leverage healthcare industry collaborative efforts to advance information exchange using HL7® Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®).

This is in response to two federal agencies that are seeking to maximize efficiency at scale and overcome barriers and physician burden in the healthcare system.

The agencies – the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)– will provide updates on the progress on these efforts during the August 26 Community Roundtable.

The federal agency efforts aim to build on collaborative efforts underway in the healthcare industry, which are at the heart of the work by the HL7 Da Vinci Project, an accelerator seeking to advance the use of FHIR standards in support of value-based care initiatives.

The CMS Center for Program Integrity began the Documentation Requirement Lookup Service (DRLS) initiative in 2018, working in collaboration with the healthcare industry, in to response to ongoing provider burden experienced when trying to identify coverage-related documentation requirements, including those for prior authorization.

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Healthcare Organizations Are Implementing Da Vinci Project Use Cases to Achieve Real-World Results in Operations

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 26, 2020 10:41:50 AM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, Data Exchange for Qualitiy Measures, implementation guide, ONC, payer data exchange

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Presenters at the May 27 HL7 Da Vinci Project community roundtable provided concrete evidence demonstrating how the use cases represent specific ways to use HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard for specific purposes in value-based care data exchange interactions between providers and payers.

FHIR for Data Exchange for Quality Measurement (DEQM) Use Case

A clear indication of the value of the medication reconciliation process use case was provided by Kirk Anderson, chief technology officer for Cambia Health Solutions, a nonprofit healthcare organization that’s the parent company of Regence, a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Initial efforts to use the FHIR use case with MultiCare, a Tacoma, Washington-based healthcare system, resulted in a dramatic boost in the insurer’s ability to get information on members’ prescribed medications from the provider.

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Use Cases Offer Support for Payers in Meeting Final Rule Requirements for Consumers

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 23, 2020 12:39:22 PM / by Fred Bazzoli posted in FHIR, HL7 community, interoperability, Payers, CMS, Da Vinci, value based care, implementation guide, ONC, payer data exchange

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Join the HL7 Da Vinci Project Community Roundtable June 24 from 4 – 5:30 pm EDT.

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