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Full speed ahead on interoperability: Q&A with ONC head Micky Tripathi

Adeline Kon/Healthcare Dive Early last year, before COVID-19 swept the nation, HHS was busy finalizing two highly anticipated rules promising to free up the U.S.’s siloed medical data. One of the rules, from the Office of the National Coordinator, the agency that regulates the nation’s health information technology framework, is meant to give consumers free electronic access to their structured and unstructured medical data for free, implementing provisions in the 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016.

The rules are extensive and have faced numerous challenges, including significant industry pushback and deadline extensions during COVID-19. Important questions still hang over their implementation: Some providers have pushed for additional timeline delays, citing the pandemic, while regulators have yet to determine an appropriate punishment for providers found blocking the free flow of information between disparate systems.

Newly minted ONC head Micky Tripathi, who comes with decades of experience in the interoperability and privacy standards space, now spearheads this push toward interoperability. In a wide-ranging interview, Tripathi addressed what the government can do to build on the regulations, noting further delays are improbable and that industry will likely see further action on codifying disincentives for bad actors before the end of the year. He […]

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