WEDI Newsletter | December 2017
Executive Corner
WEDI Honors Health IT Industry Leaders through Annual Awards
Media Spotlight | WEDI On Demand: December’s Featured Video
Workgroup Roundup | Latest Member News 
Each month, the Executive Corner provides prominent WEDI leaders an opportunity to share their perspectives on a variety of topics impacting healthcare – from legislative matters and industry events to the headline-grabbing issues of the day.  
Time Flies – A look back at WEDI’s successful 2017  

It’s hard to imagine 2017 is already coming to a close. Although it’s natural to excitedly look ahead at what the new year might have in store, I feel it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on a year full of collaboration, progress and growth.

To start, I’d like to thank our members – the lifeblood of WEDI. Whether it was working collaboratively through workgroups, subworkgroups and open forums or networking at our conferences, WEDI members came together all year long with a common goal to make the American healthcare system more efficient by promoting the highest standards of data interchange and protection. For that, we thank you!

2017 was a year full of successful networking opportunities as we brought members and sponsors together with industry experts, decision-makers and influencers to actively participate in high-level discussions shaping the healthcare landscape. Throughout the year, we provided insightful education programming tailored specifically to meet the needs of healthcare IT executives, managers and other related professionals.

In May, with the call for prior authorization reform dominating headlines, we gathered in Los Angeles at WEDI 2017 for an important conversation where payers and providers rolled up their sleeves to address the challenges of prior authorization and worked together towards finding a solution that benefits all parties without compromising patient care.

The prior authorization conversation continued in June during our Summer Forum in Chicago which featured keynote addresses by Donald W. Rucker, MD, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC/HHS) and Madhu Annadata, director, Division of National Standards, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These key influencers shared with attendees not just the burdens prior authorization and other transaction policies pose, but, more importantly, potential solutions the industry can implement to address these hurdles. The conversation proved both thoughtful and enlightening.

For our grand finale, we convened hundreds of thought leaders in healthcare information technology earlier this month in Reston, Va. at WEDI-Con . During the three-day event, payers, providers, government regulators and vendors networked and collaborated during sessions focusing on some of the most pressing issues shaping the future of health IT including data exchange, HITRUST assessments, blockchain, the new Medicare cards, and electronic clinical quality (eCQM).

2017 was also a year where we continued our work in the capacity of industry convener and advisor to HHS. As the industry struggled with challenges regarding prior authorization, we answered the call and launched the Prior Authorization Council, an industry forum where each participating organization can share their results, learn from their colleagues, and identify areas of common ground for innovation.

Throughout 2017 our workgroups continued to add extreme value to the industry by providing white papers, webinars, surveys and issue briefs that helped member organizations readily adapt to rapidly evolving business environments and regulatory requirements .

In March, we released an industry white paper, entitled The Rampant Growth of Cybercrime in Healthcare . Made possible through the support of  Fortinet , the paper explored common vulnerabilities that are typically exploited by cybercriminals in today’s healthcare environment, as well as best practices organizations can implement to mitigate these vulnerabilities.

The WEDI Remittance Advice & Payment (ERA/EFT) subworkgroup released the industry white paper, Barriers to Adoption of the ERA and EFT Transactions . The 51-page white paper identified barriers to the adoption of the HIPAA adopted EFT (CCD+) and ERA (835) electronic transactions by payers, providers and vendors and offered the suggested steps that all stakeholders can take to eliminate the barriers and implement the transactions.

The Innovative Encounters Workgroup has published the Introduction to Telehealth Codes issue brief which provided introductory information on codes for telehealth services, development of codes for telehealth services, and challenges with telehealth coding.
The Genomics Workgroup published the white paper, Maximizing the Potential of Genomic Information to Improve Care Coordination and Health Outcomes which explored how genomic information could optimize clinical genomics care coordination, including how genomic data can be leveraged to improve health and care at both individual and population levels.

This list could have gone on an on as these are just a handful of the initiatives in play by the WEDI workgroups whose guidance will continue to impact our industry in 2018.
2017 was also a year where we welcomed several seasoned executives to our governing body which represents a diverse cross-section of the healthcare industry including payers, providers, government regulators and industry vendors. In April, we announced the election of Laurie Darst as Chair and Jay Eisenstock as Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors and just this past month we announced the election of three new board members , as well as the re-election of eight previous board members to serve two-year terms. Our board is comprised of an incredible group of industry leaders whose expertise and range of perspectives are invaluable to our organization.

There’s no doubt, the bar has been set high for 2018. However, momentum is on our side as we embark on the coming year. I want to thank our members, our board of directors, and the many constituents, all who have played and will continue to play a significant role in helping us make a lasting impact on the practice of Health IT nationwide.

Wishing you all a healthy, successful and prosperous new year ahead!

Charles W. Stellar,
WEDI president and CEO
At WEDI-Con 2017, the recipients of our annual awards program were announced in recognition of industry champions whose impactful contributions helped advance the health IT industry. WEDI is grateful for each of these individual’s and organization’s dedication, commitment and tireless efforts toward advancing efficiency in healthcare through the use of information technology. 

A complete list of Annual Award recipients can be found here.
WEDI elects 3 new board members, re-elects 8

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange  selected  three new members to serve on its board of directors.

WEDI, a nonprofit that focuses on interoperability and healthcare information exchange, serves as an advisor to HHS. Its board of directors includes payers, providers, government regulators and industry vendors.

To read the full article, visit Becker's Health IT & CIO Review .
This month's highlighted Vimeo channel video features Jay Eisenstock, Chair Elect
for WEDI outlines how WEDI conferences examine the specific business process challenges across healthcare in WEDI Conferences: Examining Today’s Business Process Challenges .
Visit the new WEDI Vimeo Channel to view our entire video library!
All of our workgroups have special projects and activities underway, here’s just a brief highlight of a few:

The Claims Subworkgroup (of the Data Exchange Workgroup) will be wrapping up its review of the proposed changes in the X12 Version 7030 claims transactions. The group plans to draft a paper outlining the changes and providing an assessment of their benefits, once the Version 7030 transactions are finalized by X12. The Subworkgroup’s next project will be to begin reviewing encounters. The plan is to start with an environmental scan of “encounters” and how the claim transaction is used today to support encounter reporting. The group will then dig deeper into the encounter business processes and any gaps that currently exist. The Subworkgroup will be meeting the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 11 am ET, for those interested in joining.

Join the NEW Claim Status Subworkgroup . The Claim Status SWG is focused on the exchange of claim status request/response (276/277), the business issues that prevent its adoption and potential ROI savings for both providers and health plans. Sign up for the Claim Status SWG and plan to participate in the discussion on Friday, January 5 at Noon ET. Calls will be held the first Friday of the month at Noon ET. 

The Privacy and Security sessions at the Fall WEDI conference were a resounding success. Chris Kroner from Pokitdok and Lesley Berkeyheiser from EHNAC provided a content packed session on what it takes to go through the HITRUST certification process. Nick Heesters from OCR, Peter Dumont from Optum, and Mark Cone with N-Tegrity Solutions Group Consulting provided the first session reviewing some of the top concerns that OCR is seeing out of their HIPAA audits. The content for the OCR session and others will be turned into webinar content to be posted on the WEDI web site. The Privacy and Security workgroup has received approval from the WEDI Board to develop an outline on a White Paper for Implementation Considerations on the use of Blockchain in healthcare. This effort will be worked in partnership with the EHNAC organization. Look for notifications on this as 2018 begins.

The Remittance Advice & Payment Subworkgroup met face-to-face at WEDI-CON in Reston, VA, and worked on a list of priorities for 2018. The group continues preparing their Issue Brief on EFT Enrollment Security.

The Acknowledgements Subworkgroup has begun to create the survey questions for the upcoming survey on acknowledgements for early next year. The survey will help prioritize the subworkgroup’s agenda going forward by identifying the pain points in the use of the acknowledgement transactions. They are looking for feedback from all participants within the industry. If anyone would like to help provide clarity to the 999 and 277CA transactions please join the Acknowledgements SWG on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 2:00 – 3:00 EST. 

Coming into 2018, value-based payment is accelerating as MACRA begins its expansion into the All Payer Combination option. Giving providers and payers alike the opportunity to align risk-bearing alternative payment models (APMs) in performance year 2019, qualification for inclusion will begin in CY2018. The Payment Models Workgroup is currently reassessing its charter and finalizing priority objectives for 2018. They invite you to engage in the discussion with other industry thought leaders as they reconnect on January 23, 2018 from 3:00-4:00 PM EST.
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The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency and to reduce costs of the American healthcare system. Formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), WEDI was named in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS and continues to fulfill that role today.
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