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Washington Debrief: Congressional Interest Remains for 90-day Reporting in 2016

June 13, 2016
by Leslie Kriegstein, Vice President of Congressional Affairs, CHIME
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Key Takeaway: MACRA calls for ONC to measure interoperability.  CHIME offered our perspective in our comment letter.

Why it Matters: MACRA calls for achieving widespread exchange of health information through interoperable certified EHRs (CEHRTs) nationwide by December 31, 2018. The law also requires that by July 1, 2016, ONC create metrics to determine whether this goal has been met. If interoperability has not been achieved by December 31, 2018, then they must submit a report to Congress by December 31, 2019, identifying barriers to this objective and recommending actions that the federal government can take to achieve it. CHIME’s recommendations around how ONC should measure interoperability are summarized below: 

1. Accurate patient identification is crucial to interoperability.

2. Measuring interoperability must go beyond “meaningful users.”

3. Measuring transactions is insufficient. 

4. Data exchange must be useful to clinicians.

5. More information is needed to understand how clinicians use exchanged data.

6. Existing measurement information should be used to compliment any ONC measurement efforts. 

Update on Precision Medicine

Key Takeaway: Vice President Biden announces The Genomic Data Commons, a data sharing platform, as part of his Cancer Moonshot initiative, in a recent fact sheet.

Why it Matters: The White House describes the effort as creating, “a foundational system for broad sharing and analysis of tumor genome sequences (the DNA unique to cancer cells), which is critical for advancing the field of precision medicine and improving the care of cancer patients, and is designed with appropriate privacy and security protections.”  A National Cancer Institute blog elaborates by stating, “The datasets will lead to a much deeper understanding of which therapies are most effective for individual cancer patients, and with each new addition the GDC will evolve into a smarter, more comprehensive knowledge system that will foster important discoveries in cancer research and increase the success of cancer treatment for patients.”

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