News & Updates
March 5, 2021
WEDI Letter to CMS on
Prior Authorization/Interoperability Regulation
“Nancy Spector, as WEDI Board Chair, sent this letter to Elizabeth Richter, Acting CMS Administrator. As the agency is currently reviewing the Prior Authorization and Interoperability regulation, this communication outlined our strong support for adoption of standards that will improve critical communications between payers, providers, and the patients they serve and offered WEDI’s continued support of CMS towards successful development and deployment of this process. We also attached our extensive comment letter of January 4, 2021 for reference.”
New Data Brief:
More Hospitals Integrating Data into EHRs
ONC released a new data brief on the methods hospitals used to exchange summary of care records in 2019. More than half of hospitals engaged in all four domains of electronic health data interoperability: send, receive, find, integrate. The percent of hospitals with the capability to integrate electronic health data into their electronic health record increased by nearly 15 percent from 2018.
2021 ONC Annual Meeting
March 29-30 from 12-5ET
Reducing the Clinician Burden:
Shaping Health IT as an Asset
To keep advancing health IT, all of us across the health care system need to continue emphasizing user-centered design and human factors and ergonomics. As ONC and CMS’  recent rules are implemented, health IT developers should be designing systems with clinical, cognitive, and workflow needs in mind. Institutions should be making configuration decisions based on frontline clinical users’ needs identified using established human factors and ergonomics methods.
ONC FHIR at Scale Taskforce (FAST) Action Plan
Join the FHIR at Scale Task Force (FAST) on March 18 at 12pm ET for an HL7-hosted webinar to learn about FAST solutions and get an overview of the FAST Action Plan, which outlines the FAST solutions path forward to standards development and implementation readiness. Register to learn how to stay involved with FAST through the implementation guide development process, Connect-a-thons, FAST pilots testing and more.
Health IT Advisory Committee
Wednesday, 03/10/2021, 9:30-2:30
Researchers’ Perspectives on Accelerating
APIs and App Connectivity
The Researcher Perspectives on APIs report is the second of four “Accelerating APIs” reports that explore the current landscape of API-based health information exchange in a rapidly evolving electronic health data ecosystem. The report highlights various examples of where APIs and apps are beginning to emerge to meet the needs of the research community. Participants underscored that scientific discovery is fueled by a rich and varied landscape of data sources not yet captured by standardized APIs. To make data more usable for research purposes, there needs to be more standardization and better tools for mapping, configuring, and extracting the data across different systems and organizations. Researchers also need to be made more aware of the value of FHIR and FHIR Bulk Data Access APIs, and additional education efforts are needed so that researchers can consistently utilize the full potential of these APIs. 
AHRQ Seeks Public Input by April 16 on Clinical Algorithms
That May Promote Bias in Medical Decision-making
AHRQ is seeking public comments on clinical algorithms used in medical practice that may introduce bias into decision-making or negatively affect access, quality, or health outcomes among racial and ethnic minority groups. Following public input, AHRQ will undertake an evidence review of commonly used algorithms to assess whether race and ethnicity is explicitly included.
The deadline for providing comments is 11:59 PM ET on April 16.
Episode 25: APIs-Unlocking the Data to Transform Care Delivery and Quality.
Ben Moscovitch, Pew Charitable Trusts
Root of Some Health Disparities May be Buried in Technology
UCSF Health examines its algorithms and more to address health inequities related to patient no-show processes, telehealth, and vaccinations.

Key Takeaways:
  • Systems are recognizing the harmful effects that algorithms wreak on groups of patients already at risk for discrimination.
  • Instead of double-booking patients fitting discriminatory profiles, focus instead on proactive reminders, outreach, and ride sharing to reduce no-shows.
  • Be prepared to tackle similar algorithmic disparities when addressing telehealth utilization and vaccination.
Join the Privacy & Security Workgroup
The next Privacy & Security Workgroup meeting will be March 10th at 2ET.
The group is drafting comments on the HHS NPRM to modify the HIPAA Privacy Rule to Empower Patients, Improve Coordinated Care, and Reduce Regulatory Burdens. 
WEDI workgroups provide thoughtful leadership and common-sense approaches that enhance the exchange of clinical and administrative healthcare information. They collect input, exchange ideas, and make recommendations that inspire impactful and far-reaching change in our industry.