This Notice of Funding Opportunity describes a full and open competition to make a single, 4-year award, through a Cooperative Agreement, for a non-profit entity with appropriate approvals from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), to develop, update, implement, and maintain the Common Agreement component of the Trusted Exchange Framework (TEF). This entity, known as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) will also work with ONC to designate and monitor Qualified Health Information Networks (QHINs), modify and update an accompanying QHIN Technical Framework, engage with public stakeholders through virtual public listening sessions, adjudicate noncompliance with the Common Agreement, and propose sustainability strategies for an RCE to continue to support trusted data exchange through QHIN connectivity at the expiration of the term of the Cooperative Agreement. The program will be funded for the first year at $900,000, with funding in additional years contingent upon availability of funds and satisfactory completion of milestones.
In the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), Congress identified the importance of interoperability by laying out a path for the establishment of interoperable exchange of electronic health data and charging ONC with the implementation of key interoperability provisions under Title IV of the Cures Act including advancing a Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement to improve data exchange between health information networks.
The Cures Act’s focus on trusted exchange is an important step toward advancing the establishment of an interoperable health system that empowers individuals to use their health data to the fullest extent; enables providers and communities to deliver smarter, safer, and more efficient care; and promotes innovation at all levels.
The RCE will have an important role in realizing the vision of the TEF and Common Agreement and will have responsibilities including:
- Develop a Common Agreement that includes the Minimum Required Terms & Conditions Draft 2 (MRTCs Draft 2) and Additional Required Terms & Conditions developed by the RCE (ARTCs) and approved by ONC. The Common Agreement will be published on HealthIT.gov and in the Federal Register.
- Virtually convene public listening sessions that will allow industry stakeholders to provide objective and transparent feedback to the RCE.
- Identify and monitor QHINs that voluntarily agree to sign and adopt the Common Agreement.
- Implement an ONC-approved process to adjudicate QHIN noncompliance with the Common Agreement, up to and including removal from ONC’s public directory on HealthIT.gov.
- Implement a process to update the Common Agreement, as needed, for ONC final approval and publication on HealthIT.gov and in the Federal Register.
- Modify and update the QHIN Technical Framework (QHIN Technical Framework Draft 1) for approval by ONC. The QHIN Technical Framework is designed to detail proposed technical components for exchange between QHINs as required by the latest version of the MRTCs.
- Propose strategies that an RCE could employ to sustain the Common Agreement at a national level after the expiration of the term of the Cooperative Agreement.
This is an open competition to United States-based non-profit entities who can showcase the expertise and ability to execute the outlined requirements of this NOFO.
Application Deadlines and Key Dates
Letters of Intent Due: May 17, 2019
Application Deadline: June 17, 2019
An informational webinar on the TEFCA RCE Notice of Funding Opportunity was held on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at 2:00pm ET.