The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has increased the number of designated Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) organizations to seven with the addition of CommonWell Health Alliance and Kno2.
Both organizations were announced as candidate QHINs last February to implement TEFCA, which was envisioned by the 21st Century Cures Act to support nationwide interoperability, but they were not officially designated until now.
The other organizations officially designated as QHINs after successfully completing the TEFCA onboarding process are:
• eHealth Exchange
• Epic Nexus
• Health Gorilla
TEFCA became operational in December 2023. The Common Agreement, released in September 2021, includes six exchange purposes that organizations must support to be designated as a QHIN. The exchange purposes include Treatment, Payment, Health Care Operations, Public Health, Benefits Determination, and Individual Access Services.
ONC said that CommonWell Health Alliance and Kno2 can immediately begin supporting the exchange of data under the Common Agreement’s policies and technical requirements along with the other designated QHINs.
“These additional QHINs expand TEFCA’s reach and provide additional connectivity choices for patients, healthcare providers, hospitals, public health agencies, health insurers, and other authorized healthcare professionals,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., national coordinator for health information technology, in a statement. “On behalf of ONC, I want to congratulate CommonWell Health Alliance and Kno2 for their achievement.”
“This designation is a natural extension of our mission and progress to date.” said CommonWell Health Alliance Executive Director Paul Wilder, in a statement. “We are honored to join as a QHIN—along with many members and industry partners—to reinforce our commitment to enhancing health data sharing and contribute to the realization of the TEFCA. I am grateful for all who helped us get to this point—our founding members—who had the foresight to launch CommonWell in 2013, our current members, the ONC, the Recognized Coordinating Entity and the other QHINs.”
CommonWell noted that it continues to grow. In September of 2023 it announced a new Technical Service Provider, ELLKAY, and architecture for a new network platform. It welcomed new members Innsena, ModuleMD and RedCapCloud in January—two of which plan to onboard directly to the new CommonWell platform. Two additional new Service Adopters—including Invaryant and Solace—are scheduled to onboard directly to the new platform. Signature Performance joins as one of CommonWell’s newest General Members with plans to become a Service Adopter by the end of 2024.
The TEFCA Common Agreement Version 2.0, which is anticipated to include enhancements and updates to require support for FHIR-based transactions, is under development and scheduled to be adopted by QHINs within the first quarter of 2024.