AHA today applauded the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for pursuing a voluntary “network of networks” approach to the draft framework for trusted health information exchange that builds on existing efforts. However, the association recommended that ONC carefully consider how best to scale and stage the effort to allow broad participation; do more to ensure alignment with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements; and ensure that the recognized coordinating entity is independent and governed by exchange participants. In separate comments on the draft core data elements or classes that participants would exchange, AHA recommended ONC expand the criteria for assessing whether a data class is ready to include in the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability; provide flexibility in how data classes are prioritized and advanced; and eliminate the automatic link between annual data class updates and their inclusion in health information. AHA also recommended that ONC work with state prescription drug monitoring programs, health information exchanges, pharmacy networks and others to overcome barriers to information exchange.

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