More than 95% of certified healthcare IT developers met last year's deadline to upgrade interoperability standards as mandated in the Cures Act Final Rule, according to the agency.
More than 95% of certified healthcare IT organizations met last year's deadline to upgrade application programming interfaces (APIs) to new federal standards, according to the Health and Human Services Department's Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT.
In a blog issued this week, Rob Anthony, director of the Certification & Testing Division in the Office of Technology, said the upgrade to new certification standards mandated in the Cures Act Final Rule "will have long-lasting impact for patients, clinicians, and certified health IT developers." Specifically, those changes:
- Advance interoperability for patient and providers through the use of FHIR-based APIs;
- Enable patients, providers, and other stakeholders to access consistent data that at least meets the requirements of version 1 of the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI);
- Ensure that electronic prescribing is reliable and complete; and
- Give all stakeholders a common and visible view into Real World Testing plans, through which certified healthcare It developers test their technology in real-world settings.
"These new criteria make it easier for patients to access their own health IT record from mobile devices, allow electronic health information to flow more freely between health IT systems, and provide enhanced privacy and security for health IT," Anthony said in the blog.
According to the agency, 646 product listings from 411 developers met the deadline to update to 2015 Cures standards by the end of 2022.
"As part of a new dynamic for the Certification Program finalized in the Cures Act Final Rule, our requirements for standardized APIs included a provision to update certified API technology previously certified to § 170.315(g)(8) to FHIR-based APIs in 170.315(g)(10) as well as provide that updated certified API technology to customers by December 31, 2022," Anthony continued. "These provisions are intended to ensure that providers participating in certain [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] payment programs, such as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, are able to successfully deploy and use FHIR-based APIs by September 30, 2023."
Anthony said the ONC will now turn to monitoring adoption and conformance through its Lantern platform, and will provide updates throughout 2023.
Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.
The ONC had set a December 2022 deadline for certified healthcare IT developers to meet interoperability standards mandated in the Cures Act Final Rule.
Those new standards will enable patients, providers, and other stakeholders to access data more easily through FHIR-based APIs, ensure reliable electronic prescribing, and enable visibility into how developers test their technology.
The ONC will now focus on monitoring adoption and conformance through its Lantern platform.