Coming in Hot! TEFCA Will Soon Be Live and Add Support for FHIR-Based Exchange

Mark Knee and Jawanna Henry | November 3, 2023

In January 2022, ONC and The Sequoia Project, serving as ONC’s Recognized Coordinating Entity® (RCETM) organization, released the Trusted Exchange Framework and Version 1 of the Common Agreement. One year later, six organizations became candidate Qualified Health Information NetworksTM (QHINsTM) and committed to complete “onboarding” and “go live” by the end of 2023 – we are still on target!

In the ensuing months even more organizations have entered the process to become a QHIN, and the Common Agreement has recently been updated to Version 1.1 in preparation for data sharing through the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common AgreementSM (TEFCASM). The updated Common Agreement includes specific technical and clarifying changes and will be accompanied in short order by updates to the QHIN Technical Framework, FHIR® Roadmap, and standard operating procedures. ONC is planning an in-person event at our 2023 Annual Meeting to celebrate this milestone.

We have also committed to having TEFCA support FHIR-based exchange because API scalability needs TEFCA, and we are pleased to report that this will soon be a reality as well. The Common Agreement Version 2.0 is actively under development with a publication goal of no later than the end of Spring 2024. This version will include participation enhancements and technical updates to require support for Health Level Seven (HL7®) FHIR®-based transactions within 2024.

The industry’s collective appetite for interoperability is growing by the day, and we are making every effort to make it easier to meet that demand. The hard work of aligning the 21st Century Cures Act’s key priorities in API adoption, nationwide network interoperability, and Information Blocking is now being realized. The launch of TEFCA this year, support for FHIR next year, and the recent release of draft rules to close remaining gaps in enforcement of Information Blocking are mutually reinforcing initiatives that will significantly advance interoperability in the coming years.

So buckle up! Our TEFCA timelines will remain aggressive and ambitious as ONC and the RCE help support the industry to usher in a new era of data exchange for the United States.

For more information on TEFCA in general, please check out the RCE resources and sign up for the RCE newsletter and monthly public calls.