WEDI commends the work undertaken to advance interoperability; pledges to ensure implementation enhances care coordination, safety, efficiency and value in a way that protects patient privacy.
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- WEDI, the nation's leading nonprofit authority on the use of health IT to create efficiencies in health care information exchange and a statutory advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today issued a statement on behalf of its President and CEO, Charles Stellar. The following remarks are in response to the release of the final rules by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology on Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act:
"WEDI and its members support the seamless access to health information by providers and patients to make better choices about care and treatment. At the same time, it is essential that we protect the privacy and security of patient health information. That's why we commend ONC and CMS on the finalization of the interoperability rules. These rules will certainly have a lasting impact on the advancement of interoperability while driving innovation that supports patient access and control of electronic health information. The 21st Century Cures Act pushed the issues of information blocking and lack of interoperability to the forefront and these finalized rules will help our industry make great strides in addressing these obstacles.
"WEDI offers its leadership and support as we continue to work together alongside CMS Administrator Verma and ONC National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Rucker on facilitating health care data interoperability. As a statutory advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is WEDI's mandate to ensure that the implementation of these final rules enhance care coordination, safety, efficiency and value in a way that protects patient privacy. WEDI will closely review the final rules set forth today by ONC and CMS as we look to gain a clear understanding of the impact they will have across the health care spectrum. In the meantime, WEDI applauds the efforts of ONC and CMS and commends them for collaborating with all industry stakeholders to reach the finalization of these rules that aim to advance interoperability across the United States (U.S.) health care system in support of the access, exchange and use of electronic health information."
Early last year, WEDI released comments on the proposed rules and in June 2019, submitted recommendations to CMS and the ONC pertaining to the proposed rules implementing provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act. Following the submissions, WEDI issued a statement supporting the efforts of CMS and ONC.
For more information on the CMS and ONC final rules, visit https://www.healthit.gov/curesrule/ and https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/interoperability-and-patient-access-fact-sheet. To view the CMS final rule, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Interoperability/index and to view the ONC final rule, visit: https://healthit.gov/curesrule
WEDI is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve health care information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency, and reduce costs of our nation's health care system. WEDI was formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and was designated in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS. WEDI's membership includes a broad coalition of organizations, including: hospitals, providers, health plans, vendors, government agencies, consumers, not-for-profit organizations, and standards development organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.wedi.org and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.