HIMSS 23: DHIT’s Recap for Vendors and ACOs

Dynamic Health IT (DHIT) attended HIMSS23 in Chicago from April 17th – 21st, marking the 12th year our team has participated. Covid restrictions over the last couple years have limited personal one-on-one conversations but fortunately, conferences are beginning to feel more normal again. DHIT was able to connect with our partners, discover new potential partnerships, and attend educational sessions. We know some partners could not attend the conference but we are eager to collaborate with all and would like to highlight some key conference take-aways in this blog.

HTI-1 Proposed Rule

We’ve grown accustomed to CMS making big announcements and publishing rule changes before and during HIMSS. This year was no exception. A new proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on April 18, 2023 that included USCDIv3 and FHIR R5. DHIT will cover the highlights of the proposed rule and focus on items of concern to our customers in a future blog. While meeting with customers and partners at HIMSS, we stressed the importance of commenting on the proposed rule. This is our opportunity to effect change before the final rule is published. The comment period is open until June 20th. As your partner, DHIT is open to collecting all of our vendors’ comments and submitting them to CMS.

ACO Challenges and TEFCA

HIMMS 23 CMS Discusses ACO Challenges with eCQM reporting
CMS Discussed ACO Challenges

CMS recognized challenges faced by Accountable Care Organizations ( ACOs) in calculating and reporting Clinical Quality Measures. These include:

  • Patient matching and data aggregation across multiple disparate EHRs,
  • Determining the eligible measure population, and
  • Ensuring data completeness.

An astonishing number of ACOs are not submitting to CMS and there has been a push by CMS to increase the number of ACO’s participating. The issue of patient matching and data aggregation needs to be tackled for ACO’s to have success with the Shared Savings Program. DHIT was able to collaborate with other partners on ideas to resolve the data aggregation and patient matching pain points. With EHR vendor help, DHIT will continue working to deploy a solution to ease the ACO reporting hardships.

DHIT started the EHR integration discussion with some of the initial 6 Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs) accepted to move forward with the testing and project plan phase for TEFCA. As we all know, FHIR is the designated API for interoperability but there are some major obstacles with the push/pull process. In speaking with QHINS, some had difficulty clearly defining connectivity for EHR vendors but, as your strategic partner, DHIT will lay out a roadmap for EHR vendors. In coming weeks, DHIT will continue the discussion and prepare a plan for integrating your EHR with QHINs.

(b)(10) Data Export

For EHR vendors, Data Export and b10 requirements were the top HIMSS buzzwords. As usual, DHIT continues to have a strong relationship with the ONC-ACBs. We had the pleasure of speaking directly with Drummond’s booth staff and with excitement I can share that additional information and guidance should be coming in the next few weeks. As many of you have experienced, DHIT will run your certification or provide support in the background during your certification efforts, so we know first hand the importance of having clear, transparent communication with your testing body. It was refreshing to know the ACBs are very much committed to working with our team as we guide our partners. DHIT has already started the consulting process assisting partners implement a solution to b10 requirements. In case you missed our guidance at HIMSS, get an inventory of the data to be exported and define what is your designated record Set (DRS) with your legal team.

Chicago Spring Blooms

Although the conference seemed to be plagued with airline delays and some unpredictable weather, overall it was a great time for our team. With remote work, colleague interactions in person are minimal and it is always a team strengthening exercise at the HIMSS conference. Chicago food is great and comparable to our famous New Orleans cuisine and the beauty of the city was in full bloom. Next up for the DHIT team, the HL7 C-CDA Implementation-A-Thon (IAT), FHIR Connect-A-Thon 33 and Working Group Meeting (WGM) in our hometown, New Orleans. Stay tuned for our experiences calculating Quality Measures with FHIR.

Continue the collaboration by contacting us at mbond@dynamichealthit.com.