ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule Sets Path for New Healthcare Industry Standards

Matthew Rahn | May 6, 2021

Time flies! It has been over a year since ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule was first released and since then ONC has been busy advancing the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) and enabling the healthcare industry to voluntarily implement newer versions of adopted standards via the Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP) for the purposes of the ONC Health IT Certification.

USCDI News, SVAP Reminders, and More

The release of the Draft USCDI version 2 in January 2021, along with the associated Data Classes and Elements on the USCDI ONC New Data Element and Class submission system (ONDEC), allows stakeholders to propose new elements for future versions of the USCDI and provide feedback on the current USCDI. While the deadline to provide feedback to the Draft USCDI v2 standard has passed, the ONDEC system is open throughout the year. Stay tuned for the release of the USCDI v2 this summer along with an announcement about the deadline for Draft USCDI v3.

You may also recall that we published the inaugural version of the Approved Standards for 2020 via the SVAP. As of March 12, 2021, health IT developers are permitted to incorporate newer versions of specific ONC-regulated standards and implementation specifications into their products under the ONC Health IT Certification Program.

ONC has established an annual public comment process for SVAP-eligible standards and implementation specifications. The USCDI and SVAP comment periods, which will be open later in the year, offer valuable opportunities for you to provide direct input to ONC that will help to advance health IT capabilities in a deliberate and thoughtful manner.

Wait, we’re not done yet!

As part of ONC’s ongoing effort to communicate, coordinate, and promote the adoption and use of health IT standards, we launched the ONC Standards Bulletin earlier this year. This periodically published newsletter serves to update you about various health IT standards initiatives. The inaugural ONC Standards Bulletin 2021-1 covered the USCDI and the SVAP. It also provided additional information about policy and technical considerations, public comment analyses, and opportunities for stakeholder engagement. Future Standards Bulletins will include additional ONC spotlights on standards related projects.

The More the Merrier

Our doors are always open. We encourage you to provide us with feedback about these key ONC activities that are part of the effort to drive interoperability and improved quality of data exchange. Sign up to receive the next Standards Bulletin and engage with us throughout the year by using the ONDEC system.

We look forward to working with you to advance the interoperable exchange of electronic health information!