HHS marks major milestone for nationwide health data exchange

Dec. 14, 2023
Attendees at the 2023 ONC Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on December 14, 2023, will have the chance to hear two plenary sessions providing TEFCA updates.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), announced that nationwide health data exchange governed by the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) is now operational.

ONC has led a multi-year, public-private process alongside its Recognized Coordinating Entity, The Sequoia Project, Inc., to implement TEFCA, which was envisioned by the 21st Century Cures Act. As a result, patients will have increased access to their records, and health care providers and plans can improve their secure exchange of electronic health information.

The following organizations were officially designated Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs) after completing the rigorous TEFCA onboarding process.

  • eHealth Exchange
  • Epic Nexus
  • Health Gorilla
  • MedAllies

These designated QHINs can immediately begin supporting the exchange of data under the Common Agreement’s policies and technical requirements. QHINs are the pillars of TEFCA network-to-network exchange, providing shared services and governance to securely route queries, responses, and messages across networks for eligible participants including patients, providers, hospitals, health systems, payers, and public health agencies.

Common Agreement Version 2.0, which is anticipated to include enhancements and updates to require support for Health Level Seven (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) based transactions, is actively under development and scheduled to be adopted by the QHINs within the first quarter of 2024.

HHS release