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Interoperability Matters Initiative to Start Information Blocking Subgroups

Analysis  |  By Scott Mace  
   December 22, 2020

Subgroups will address compliance best practices for healthcare providers, health IT developers, and health information exchanges.

When it comes to information blocking, the devil's in the details, and The Sequoia Project is drilling down accordingly.

Distinct actors involved in the thorny issue are the focus of three new subgroups of the Interoperability Matters Information Blocking Workgroup of The Sequoia Project, a non-profit devoted to resolving health IT interoperability issues.

Federal regulations define distinct actors in the information blocking issue, and the new subgroups map to three of them: healthcare providers, health IT developers, and health information networks/health information exchanges.

In a press release, The Sequoia Project said it expects to add more subgroups over time.

"We're hoping these subgroups help communities address specific operational issues and best practices regarding information blocking regulatory compliance and implementation," said Mariann Yeager, CEO of The Sequoia Project.

The Interoperability Matters initiative brings together experts from healthcare and health IT to tackle the challenges of nationwide information sharing. As part of that initiative, the Information Blocking Workgroup tackles the practical implications and unintended consequences of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's final rule on interoperability and information blocking. The workgroup is also evaluating the proposed rule on information blocking enforcement by the Office of the Inspector General and any related future rulemaking from these bodies.

The Information Blocking Workgroup focuses on these proposed rules' broader implications, while the subgroups focus on more discrete issues and opportunities for each of the participants.

The Sequoia Project staff, workgroup co-chairs, and subgroup chairs will select subgroup participants, and keep each subgroup small to enable effective discussions. Subject-matter experts will be drawn from a variety of Sequoia Project communities, including participants in its initial Information Blocking Compliance Boot Camp.

These subgroups launch in January 2021 and final participants will be announced soon, The Sequoia Project said.

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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