Consumer health app developers are finding ways to help consumers and their physicians make better use of their health data. These apps can now get accredited for their compliance with best practices in managing personal health information, an important step towards building trust that consumers’ health data will be protected as it is moved more easily throughout the health care system.
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body for organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data, and The CARIN Alliance, a collaborative working to advance consumer-directed exchange of health information, has announced the creation of a new CARIN Code of Conduct Accreditation Program (CCCAP).
This new offering is set to bring both the CARIN Code of Conduct and EHNAC’s criteria review process to health plans, health systems, EHR vendors, implementers of HL7® FHIR®-based application programming interfaces (APIs), and third-party app developers in a continued effort to support additional levels of trust related to consumer access to health data.
Members of the CARIN Alliance envision a future where any consumer can choose an application of their choice to retrieve both their complete health record and their complete claims information from any provider or plan in the country using HL7® FHIR® APIs, and the CARIN Code of Conduct has been instrumental in helping to advance these efforts. The certification program is not required by policy makers or CARIN, but EHNAC has created an exceptional third-party accreditation program built on the foundation of the CARIN Code of Conduct which has become the industry’s de facto standard for applications not covered by HIPAA and the only code named in federal regulation as an ‘industry best practice.’
Last July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began enforcing key components of the Interoperability and Patient Access final rule – one of several key federal initiatives aimed at accelerating the ability for individuals to access their personal health information via an application of choice leveraging HL7® FHIR® APIs. CMS provided an option for payers to implement an attestation framework asking developers to describe the data practices and privacy provisions of the applications that are connecting to the HL7® FHIR® APIs. This new voluntary certification program builds on the CARIN Code of Conduct already established self-attestation approach but is not required by CMS or CARIN.
Since the CARIN Alliance launched MyHealthApplication.com which provides the ability for applications to self-attest to the CARIN Code of Conduct, EHNAC has been collaborating with CARIN on implementing and fostering adoption of an industry-wide consumer-facing application attestation and certification framework, which includes focusing on providing the highest level of stakeholder trust for all healthcare stakeholders – patients, providers, health plans, third-party app developers, and many others.
In addition to this launch of the CARIN Code of Conduct accreditation program (CCCAP) EHNAC has updated its Trusted Dynamic Registration & Authentication Accreditation Program (TDRAAP) and the Trusted Network Accreditation Program (TNAP) to align with the CARIN Code of Conduct criteria for applicable organizations.
Stakeholders who attain CARIN Code of Conduct Accreditation will be listed on the CARIN My Health Application site and the EHNAC Accredited Companies page. EHNAC and the CARIN Alliance have already identified multiple consumer-facing applications who have attested to the CARIN Code of Conduct on the MyHealthApplication.com website to be included in the first cohort so they can provide feedback on this new program. For more information or to apply for the CARIN Code of Conduct Accreditation program, click here.
The CARIN Alliance is a multi-sector collaborative convened by Leavitt Partners and more than 80 stakeholders, to advance the adoption of consumer-directed exchange across the U.S. Working with both the public and private sector, the group seeks to rapidly advance the ability for consumers and their authorized caregivers to easily get, use, and share their digital health information when, where, and how they want to achieve their goals. As one of the first three HL7® FHIR® accelerator programs, the CARIN Alliance’s work has been implemented by nearly every major CMS payer in the US, named in federal regulation as an ‘industry best practice’, and helped to provide millions of individuals with digital access to their clinical and financial health care information.