NC HIEA April 2021 Update April 26, 2021 National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week – April 18-24, 2021 NC HIEA recognizes medical lab professionals not only this week but every day for working to keep North Carolinians healthy and informed. Planning for Care in Advance Health care providers and patient advocates want to help the public learn about the importance of advance care planning. The NC Serious Illness Coalition, of which the NC HIEA is a member, announced on National Health Care Decisions Day (April 16) a new comprehensive set of seven short videos featuring North Carolina providers, patients, and health care advocates to help individuals better understand the “why” and “how to” of putting advance directives in place. Dr. Arif Kamal, MD, an oncologist at Duke Health, states, “Even in this time of COVID-19 as older adults have disproportionately fallen ill from the virus, a new national poll found that less than half of 50+ adults formally recorded their care wishes for when they become seriously ill.” In addition to encouraging NC HealthConnex participating health care providers to include educational and support materials on advance care plans with their patients, the NC HIEA encourages citizens to discuss advanced care plans with their close family to outline their health care needs and wishes. According to David Sevier, who facilitates the NC Serious Illness Coalition Care, “planning for these circumstances is never easy, but it is a true gift to your loved ones. These discussions, – on a front porch or a dining room table rather than in the intensive care unit, – can be among the richest and most intimate that friends and family share. Studies show that meaningful conversations about these choices enable survivors to feel less guilt and depression and result in an easier process of grieving.” In addition to these videos, the NC Serious Illness Coalition has speakers to help folks understand how to make advance care planning work for you. Watch the original video series. NC HealthConnex by the Numbers We connect health care providers to safely and securely share health information through a trusted network to improve health care quality and outcomes for North Carolinians. As of March 2021: 60,000+ providers with contributed records 6,700+ health care facilities live submitting data, including 125 hospitals 5,000+ health care facilities in onboarding 120 million+ continuity of care documents (CCDs) 11M+ unique patient records 80+ EHRs live 22 border and interstate HIEs connected via the eHealth Exchange and the Patient Centered Data Home, including a connection to the joint federal HIE (VA and DoD) Information Blocking Regulations Begin Now The NC HIEA is committed to interoperability and information sharing, and has studied and monitored the 21st Century Cures Act information blocking regulations. As of April 5, 2021, health care providers, health IT developers of certified health IT and health information networks/health information exchanges are required to comply with the Cures Act. Additionally, health care stakeholders and participants will now benefit from more easily accessible electronic health information (EHI). Until October 5, 2021, a portion of EHI that isn’t “blocked” and limited to the data elements based on the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI Version 1) will be evaluated. This evaluation period will give participants an opportunity to gain more experience and education on information blocking regulations prior to the entire regulation coming into effect, including what is required for an exception. The NC HIEA remains steadfast in its commitment to refrain from engaging in any practice that we know or should know is likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage access, exchange, or use of electronic health information via NC HealthConnex unless we have a good-faith basis to believe an exception applies. We encourage organizations to review the information blocking rules and determine how best to comply with them, to the extent the rules apply. For all technical questions about NC HealthConnex or its data-sharing capabilities, please contact the NC HIEA Provider Relations team at email@example.com or (919) 754-6912. NC HealthConnex participants can find the Request for Release of Electronic Protected Health Information form here. All updated policies, including the NC HIEA Privacy and Security Policy and User Access Policy, can be found here. Upcoming Teletown Hall: New CMS Health Information Exchange Bi-Directional Exchange Measure The NC HIEA will host a Teletown Hall on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 12 p.m. In December 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2021 Quality Payment Program Final Rule that includes the Health Information Exchange Bi-Directional Exchange measure. In this webinar, Practice Consultant Terri Roberts from Area Health Education Centers (AHEC), will discuss: the new QPP/MIPS measure its meaningfulness to practices how NC HealthConnex can help with attestation Measure: Health Information Exchange (HIE) Bi-Directional Exchange The MIPS eligible clinician or group must attest that they engage in bi-directional exchange with an HIE to support transitions of care. Who Should Attend: Practice Managers/Administrators NC HealthConnex Participant Account Administrators Click here to register for the upcoming Teletown Hall on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 12 p.m. NC*Notify & Meeting Conditions of Participation (CoP) Requirements The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new notification guidelines for hospitals across North Carolina as part of the Condition of Participation (CoP) requirements for Medicare and Medicaid. NC HealthConnex is now offering real-time event notifications to participants through its NC*Notify service, giving health care providers more detailed information about patient populations. Please find additional, high-level information about how NC*Notify helps to meet these federal requirements below: Technical ADT Field and Message Type Requirements CMS Compliance Checklist The new Conditions of Participation go into effect after April 30, 2021, and we look forward to assisting hospitals with compliance. Based on admission, discharge and transfer data received from more than 100 participating hospitals plus encounter data from more than 6,000 ambulatory care settings, the NC*Notify real-time event notifications provide care teams with valuable information that spans geography and care settings and support state and federal efforts to focus on patient-centered care. To learn more about NC*Notify, please click here to visit the website and see how it works. If you would like more information or would like to schedule a time with the NC*Notify team to discuss the enrollment process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upcoming Events April How to Connect Call Monday, April 26, 2021, at 12 p.m. To register for this meeting, click here. Teletown Hall: New CMS Health Information Exchange Bi-Directional Exchange Measure Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 12 p.m. To register for this meeting, click here. NC HIEA Advisory Board Meeting Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. To attend this meeting, email email@example.com. In the News Audacious Inquiry Releases Guide to New CMS Conditions of Participation - Today, Audacious Inquiry (Ai) published a new resource for hospitals and providers that details upcoming notification requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). www.ainq.com How COVID-19 Opened a New Chapter for Population and Public Health - COVID-19, against a background of growing awareness of health inequities, has expanded how we define population health. New laws, policies and funding have helped spur solutions. www.healthcarefinancenews.com Cybersecurity State of the Industry: A Look at Emerging Threats - In this new episode of HIT Cybersecurity, Lee Kim, HIMSS' director of privacy and security, talks with a panel of infosec experts about what they're seeing on the front lines. www.healthcareitnews.com Are You Up to Speed? The North Carolina Broadband Survey is designed to gather information on locations in the state without adequate internet access and speeds. The information gathered from the survey will: Provide clear data to guide investment of funds through the state’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology grant program Inform research and policy recommendations Support strategic targeting of additional funding streams The survey is a collaboration between the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office and the Friday Institute for Education Innovation at NC State University. The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete and is available in both English and Spanish. Participants are encouraged to also take the optional internet speed test to connect survey data with broadband speed information. Take the survey.