Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement

Draft 2 of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), released on April 19, 2019, outlines a common set of principles, terms, and conditions to support the development of a Common Agreement that would help enable 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.

In January 2018, ONC released the first draft of the Trusted Exchange Framework (TEF Draft 1) for public comment. We thank all those who commented on TEF Draft 1 for their input. ONC reviewed all of the public comments on the TEF Draft 1 and has released an updated draft package for comment. Specifically, we are asking the public to comment on the following three complementary documents:

  • The Trusted Exchange Framework (TEF) Draft 2 — A common set of principles that are designed to facilitate trust between HINs and by which all HINs should abide in order to enable widespread data exchange. These principles are the foundational concepts that guide the development of the Common Agreement.
  • The Minimum Required Terms and Conditions (MRTCs) Draft 2 — These are the mandatory terms and conditions that Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs) voluntarily agree to follow. The Common Agreement would include the MRTCs, as well as additional required terms and conditions developed by an industry-based Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE).
  • The QHIN Technical Framework (QTF) Draft 1 — This document is incorporated by reference in the Common Agreement. It details the technical and functional components for exchange among QHINs.

Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE)

In 2019, ONC awarded a cooperative agreement to The Sequoia Project to serve as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) to develop, update, implement, and maintain the Common Agreement and the Qualified Health Information Network Technical Framework (QTF). Learn more about that announcement.

The RCE also hosts public sessions for community and stakeholder input as the TEFCA is being developed and implemented. For more information on opportunities for community engagement, including recordings and materials from past events, please visit the Sequoia Community Page.

Second Year Funding for the TEFCA Recognized Coordinated Entity (RCE)

ONC has committed approximately $1.1 million in year-two funding to our cooperative agreement with The Sequoia Project, the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) supporting TEFCA implementation. Under the cooperative agreement, the RCE is responsible for developing, updating, implementing, and maintaining the Common Agreement and the Qualified Health Information Network Technical Framework (QTF). This funding will support RCE activities from August 2020 to August 2021. Learn more about that announcement.

Content last reviewed on May 26, 2020
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