2014 NCVHS Accomplishments
As advisory committee to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the NCVHS accomplishments in FY 2014 include:
- Developed a letter on Public Health Data Standards containing recommendations to impact the “Public Health Enterprise” by way of Electronic Standards for Public Health Information Exchange. The intent is to bring electronic exchange strategies and priorities to the forefront to help modernize the public health system. The letter expresses an unprecedented opportunity to advancing our public health information infrastructure to interact effectively and efficiently with the rapidly evolving electronic health record systems and health information exchanges. Electronic Standards for Public Health Information Exchange Letter
- Presented findings focusing on Administrative Simplification (from the February 2014 NCVHS Hearing) identifying Authorization for the Pharmacy Benefit; provided guidance on developing and using Health Plan Identifier (HPID); provided guidance to help Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)/Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA), including recommendations providing guidance on the extent that financial institutions, insurance companies, and banks charge fees as part of health plan services, and noted the challenges of Remaining Operating Rules. Findings from the February 2014 NCVHS Hearing on Prior Authorization for the Pharmacy Benefit; Health Plan Identifier (HPID); Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)/Electronic Remittance Advice (ERA); and, Remaining Operating Rules Letter.
- Submitted a letter stating a clear and unequivocal position about the necessary transition to ICD-10 as the right direction for the country providing a historical perspective in making the case by reiterating the importance of ICD-10 as part of the health care system, while providing advice on next steps for implementation plans. The Standards Subcommittee took the lead to reaffirm the Committee’s position and is providing advice on next steps for implementation plans. ICD-10 Delay Letter
- Also through the Standards Subcommittee, organized a Roundtable on the Vision for E-Health Standards (September 18, 2013) to help bring a focus for stakeholders in the midst of the transformative changes in the industry. The Roundtable provided an opportunity to hear from the industry, consider the issues, and start developing a framework to implement health record exchange and interoperability.
- Through the Standards Subcommittee, organized and conducted a hearing on Status of Planning and Implementation of Standards Identified in HIPAA and the Affordable Care Act. The results were submitted as Findings on Current State of Administrative Simplification Standards, Code Sets and Operating Rules Findings from the June 2013 NCVHS Hearing on Current State of Administrative Simplification Standards, Code Sets and Operating Rules Letter (September 2013)
- Through the Population Health Subcommittee prepared a Health Data Needs for Community Driven Change Roundtable Summary Report which is being distributed to health community groups, public health organizations, and other stakeholders to share the results from the deliberations. The key messages were presented to the HHS Data Council in October 2013. Recommendations are being developed on what the Department can do to support communities involved with developing and using community health data. Roundtable Summary
- The Population Health Co-Chair also briefed the HHS Data Council (January 8, 2014) with information on Supporting Communities as Learning Health Systems. The participants appreciated the information provided on convergence of health data use, feedback from community groups and ongoing evolution of the Committee’s attention to such areas as data stewardship, and building partnerships and collaboration.
- Based on information provided at the Data Council presentation, staff was invited to participate at an in-person meeting of the National Health Quality Forum’s Population Health Framework Committee (January 10, 2014) to provide an overview of the Committee’s approach to communities as learning health systems. The session served as a bridge to reinforce the alignment between these two and other groups to strengthen a community approach to health systems.
- Also through the Population Health Subcommittee, organized a Framework strategy session (June 13, 2014) that focused on data classification, use, and analysis, designed to generate federal recommendations and classification resources to help communities and other data users to systematically and appropriately use data from all relevant sources to solve local problems.
- The Population Health Subcommittee is organizing a Roundtable on Supporting Community Data Engagement. While the event will take place next fiscal year, the Subcommittee members and staff have spent significant time and effort to set up and organize the agenda, and develop intention, goals and objectives. The Roundtable will bring together community leaders, health data ‘connectors’ (intermediary organizations), and health data suppliers to identify major lessons, needs and gaps in local data access and use and explore how HHS can better support local data efforts.
- Through the Privacy, Confidentiality and Security Subcommittee, the Committee is following up on stewardship best practices for community use of health data with a Community Data User Toolkit. Background information was obtained from interviews with participants and an environmental scan provided information about health data stewardship practices. In addition, the Subcommittee obtained public responses and comments through a webinar conducted July 2014.
- The HHS Working Group on Data Access and Use continues to be a valuable and innovative resource in considering new, innovative approaches to the use of HHS health data and related data sources. Developed a letter on Steps to Improve the Usability, Use and Usefulness of Selected Online HHS Data Resources (May 2014) Steps to Improve the Usability, Use and Usefulness of Selected Online HHS Data Resources Letter
- Through the HHS Working Group on Health Data Access and Use, heard from innovative companies addressing how to facilitate collaborative research using large data assets. The Full Committee through the Working Group heard from the new Director of the Office of the National Coordinator who expressed appreciation for the Committee’s years of expertise and service.
- Submitted an Eleventh Report to Congress which describes the advancements made during 2012 and 2013 in the adoption and implementation of the Administrative Simplification provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The report includes advances made in public health informatics standards and community health data initiatives. Eleventh Report to Congress on the Implementation Of the Administrative Simplification Provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
- Received Department briefings from ASPE, CMS, ONC, and the OCR Officer, who provided updates on current projects. HHS presenters recognized the urgency of standards for interoperability and the need to optimize data alignment and leverage policy to make progress.
- Was briefed by the Director of Healthcare Initiatives at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), formerly Lead Staff for the Quality Subcommittee, who described FCC’s role in healthcare technology, broadband and medical devices.
- Participated in the 2014 Datapalooza by way of the Chair of the Working Group who helped to present a session on improving access and utility of HHS Data.
- Conducted a spring Full Committee meeting as a two-hour conference call (May 2014) and successfully reviewed three action items, taking action on two and submitted the public health letter for consideration at the June meeting the following month.
- Conducted the November 2013 meeting as a Full Committee strategic session to maximize the expertise of the membership and assure a full force approach to the topics and issues. Since then, all of the subcommittee sessions have been conducted sequentially to permit full attendance and participation by the members without overlap or concurrent sessions. This was a major step in the Committee’s commitment to streamline the review process, assure full participation of the membership in the various projects, and organize the agendas to assure efficient, effective deliberations for deliverables.
- The NCVHS Leadership also coordinates with the Office of the National Coordinator and its two HIT Advisory Committees to assure complementary and synergistic work products. The Committee continues to reinforce its commitment to help “prepare the landscape for data-driven reform,” and develop an Information Framework for Health and Health Care Improvement. The NCVHS Executive Subcommittee met with the incoming ONC Director and staff to strategize collaborative and coordinated shared efforts.