Monday, April 25, 2016

ONC RFI Assessing Interoperability for MACRA - part 1 - MACRA text

On April 8, 2016, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding assessing interoperability for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Comments are due by 11:59pm ET on June 3, 2016.

The MACRA legislation lays out a timeline for defining, assessing and acting on barriers to widespread interoperability.
July 1, 2016: Establish metrics for widespread interoperability
December 31, 2018: Determine if widespread interoperability has been achieved
December 31, 2019: Identify barriers to widespread interoperability and recommend actions to address 

Here's the relevant section of MACRA.  

Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015




  1. OBJECTIVE .—As a consequence of a significant Federal investment in the implementation of health information technology through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs, Congress declares it a national objective to achieve widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified EHR technology nationwide by December 31, 2018.
  2. DEFINITIONS .—In this paragraph:
(i) WIDESPREAD INTEROPERABILITY .—The term ‘‘widespread interoperability’’ means interoperability between certified EHR technology systems employed by meaningful EHR users under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs and other clinicians and health care providers on a nationwide basis.
(ii) INTEROPERABILITY .—The term ‘‘interoperability’’ means the ability of two or more health information systems or components to exchange clinical and other information and to use the information that has been exchanged using common standards as to provide access to longitudinal information for health care providers in order to facilitate coordinated care and improved patient outcomes.
  1. ESTABLISHMENT OF METRICS .—Not later than July 1, 2016, and in consultation with stakeholders, the Secretary shall establish metrics to be used to determine if and to the extent that the objective described in subparagraph (A) has been achieved.
  2. RECOMMENDATIONS IF OBJECTIVE NOT ACHIEVED .— If the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that the objective described in subparagraph (A) has not been achieved by December 31, 2018, then the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report, by not later than December 31, 2019, that identifies barriers to such objective and recommends actions that the Federal Government can take to achieve such objective. Such recommended actions may include recommendations—
(i) to adjust payments for not being meaningful EHR users under the Medicare EHR incentive programs; and

(ii) for criteria for decertifying certified EHR technology products.