eHealth Exchange and Health Gorilla Approved as Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) Candidates

Image courtesy of Gorilla Health

QHIN Candidates Approved by the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement

eHealth Exchange’s Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) application under the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) has been approved, along with Health Information Network and Interoperability provider Health Gorilla.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra recognized eHealth Exchange as an approved QHIN candidate and as an organization that has agreed to meet the stringent TEFCA eligibility requirements, which include a 12-month go-live timeline. This approval positions eHealth Exchange’s electronic data-sharing network to be among the first QHINs.

“We are thrilled to move forward in the QHIN designation process and begin the testing phase,” said Jay Nakashima, executive director of eHealth Exchange. “Secretary Becerra’s recognition is a testament to eHealth Exchange’s efforts to support electronic health data sharing for the past 13 years. We will continue to support the health data sharing needs of the federal agencies and other participants in our public-private network.”

Several regional health information exchanges (HIEs) have signaled their intent to participate in QHIN-based exchange through the eHealth Exchange: CRISP Shared Services, which provides HIE and health data utility infrastructure for five statewide non-profit HIE organizations; Virginia Health Information, which is the commonwealth’s non-profit health data organization with its statewide HIE known as ConnectVirginia; and the Consortium for State and Regional Interoperability (CSRI), a collection of five of the nation’s largest and most robust non-profit health data networks (Contexture, CRISP, CyncHealth, Indiana Health Information Exchange, and Manifest MedEx).

“In the QHIN arena, there is a role for both non-profits and commercial entities working with HIEs,” Nakashima said. “We look forward to providing a seamless on-ramp for participants to join the new federal TEFCA framework, enabling them to streamline regulatory compliance.”

Becerra announced Health Gorilla’s approval at a celebratory event in Washington D.C. and was recognized for achieving operational, privacy and functional requirements to exchange health data nationally under TEFCA.

“Since Health Gorilla’s founding, I’ve been looking forward to a day when we could serve the nation as a true public-private bridge for health data exchange, leveraging interoperability as a means to achieve equity. That day is today,” said Steve Yaskin, CEO & Co-founder of Health Gorilla. “With the application approval, we can confidently march forward together to advance national health information sharing with the highest standards of patient privacy, data security, and network governance. We sincerely appreciate the collaboration with The Sequoia Project for running a smooth and diligent application process.”

Health Gorilla’s QHIN application was approved by The Sequoia Project, which was selected by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to serve as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE). The RCE supports the implementation of TEFCA and determines the process and requirements for becoming a QHIN. The Sequoia Project is an independent, trusted advocate for nationwide health information exchange. Through initiatives and engagement with government and industry, experts who can identify the barriers to interoperability and pioneer processes to make health information exchange work on a national level. The Sequoia Project is a neutral body, inclusive of diverse participants, which allows them to create practical solutions to data exchange problems. As a nonprofit operating in the public interest, their governance process insures transparent oversight.

Once QHINs are fully implemented, Health Gorilla will act as a connectivity broker to enable nationwide data exchange for an expanding set of healthcare organizations, supporting permitted purposes such as Treatment and Individual Access Services to begin with, and future additional use cases such as Payment, Health Care Operations, Public Health, and Public Benefit Determination.

Health Gorilla is hosting an informational webinar to provide more details on the QHIN application approval announcement on Wednesday, February 15, at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. Click here to register.