TEFCA and eHealth Exchange

Is your organization preparing for the launch of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement in 2022? The eHealth Exchange can help!

What is TEFCA?

The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, also known as TEFCA, outlines a common set of principles, terms, and conditions to support the development of a Common Agreement that would help establish a floor for universal interoperability and a federally endorsed on-ramp for nationwide exchange of electronic health information (EHI) across disparate health information networks (HINs). The TEFCA is designed to scale EHI exchange nationwide and help ensure that HINs, health care providers, health plans, individuals, and many more stakeholders have secure access to their electronic health information when and where it is needed. The non-profit The Sequoia Project was selected in 2019 to be the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining the TEFCA in collaboration with ONC.

What Does TEFCA Mean for Providers?

Currently, participation in TEFCA will be voluntary. However, the benefits as outlined by the RCE include the expected benefits of interoperability: improved care, improved care coordination, patient access to health information, and data for value-based and population health management. eHealth Exchange network participants report these benefits today, in addition to streamlined disability determinations, simplified public health reporting, and reduced time and cost to connect with new data exchange partners. The RCE also predicts that TEFCA participants will see reduced hassle and cost of having to participate in multiple health exchange initiatives, though TEFCA is not meant to replace existing networks today.

How can eHealth Exchange Help Me Prepare for TEFCA?

The good news is eHealth Exchange is already preparing for TEFCA on behalf of its network members. The eHealth Exchange is closely following the work of the RCE and ONC, and implementing anticipated information technology and policies to be in the best position possible to apply to become a Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) as soon as the process opens. This means eHealth Exchange anticipates a seamless addition of the TEFCA for its members that choose to opt-in when it becomes available. In the meantime, eHealth Exchange participants are already enjoying the time and money saving advantages for a nationwide, secure health information network with innovative use cases.