What’s New

USQHIN – An Alternative Nationwide Health Information Network 

Published: 1/11/2021 -  USQHIN – An Alternative Nationwide Health Information Network The United States Health Information Network (USQHIN), a wholly owned subsidiary of Velatura Public Benefit Corporation, has been launched in response to pending federal regulatory guidelines as outlined in the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA). USQHIN seeks to offer an alternative nationwide health information network, focused on rationalizing interstate data exchange at national scale.   The 21st Century Cures Act mandates that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) establish a TEFCA to enable health information exchange across disparate networks. Some of the stated goals set by the ONC include providing a single “on-ramp” for nationwide connectivity; ensuring the integrity and security of data as it is delivered where and when needed and be scalable across the country. The draft document...


WEDI – A Framework for Implementing Telehealth

Published: 1/8/2021 -  WEDI - A Framework for Implementing Telehealth Rapid Changes in Telehealth Coverage In order to enable health care providers to care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, sweeping changes resulted in expansion in telehealth access, eligible services, and technology solutions. Design and use of these solutions continues to evolve. Volume of care through telehealth grew exponentially as the pandemic worsened, with the onset of stay-at-home orders and cancelling of non-emergent in-person services...


Telehealth use soars during the pandemic

Published: 1/8/2021 - Telehealth use soars during the pandemic, here to stay BY MARK SANCHEZ Sunday, January 03, 2021 05:20pm Spectrum Health entered 2020 with a goal of having half of eligible primary care patient visits with its doctors occur virtually by the end of 2022. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in physician offices in Michigan being closed for three months in the spring, leading medical practices to redirect patients to telehealth platforms to connect with their doctors for low-acuity, routine care. The result was exponential growth in virtual visits in 2020 after years of gradually gaining traction with consumers. At Spectrum Health, virtual primary care visits with doctors via the OnDemand telehealth service hit 35,000 in April 2020. That one-month total exceeded all of 2019. Dr. Kristopher Brenner, a family...


Proposed Changes to HIPAA and the CMS Interoperability Rule

Published: 1/8/2021 -  While the pandemic has remained the top priority in the U.S. healthcare landscape, it has highlighted the importance of interoperability and the key challenges that exist to coordinated care. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and sub-agency, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  recognized these gaps and expedited efforts to resolve them by rolling out two key initiatives. In December, HHS proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule and CMS expanded the CMS Interoperability Rule to include Prior Authorization. In an unprecedented act, HHS has proposed significant changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The basis for many of these changes are to increase sharing for covered entities so they will better be able to coordinate care amongst themselves and with...


Announcing the PHI Consent Tool Video Series

Published: 1/8/2021 - In 2019, The Michigan Health Endowment commissioned Altarum to develop the PHI Consent Tool to help providers navigate the complexity of consent and confidentiality regulations around the release and exchange of protected health information (PHI). The new PHI Consent Tool Video Series is designed to complement the PHI Consent Tool and to help Michigan stakeholders better understand how to navigate the Tool. It also covers complex scenarios such as PHI sharing in the cases of domestic violence, substance use information, and minor’s PHI. The new video series and the updated PHI Consent Tool, which now includes references to the most recent legislative changes, including the CARES Act, are available on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' website: To stay up to date with the latest...