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WEDI Newsletter | April 2018
Executive Corner | WEDI Spring Conference Schedule at a Glance
Member Spotlight: Axway | Stellar to Moderate Executive Leadership Roundtable
Webinar Update | Media Spotlight: WEDI Featured in Health IT Answers
Workgroup Roundup | Latest Member News
Each month, the Executive Corner provides prominent WEDI leaders an opportunity to share their perspectives on a variety of topics impacting healthcare – from legislative matters and industry events to the headline-grabbing issues of the day.  
Dear Members of WEDI,

When Dr. Donald Rucker took over the helm as ONC’s National Coordinator for Health Information Technology early last year, he very quickly made it clear that promoting interoperability was going to be a top priority. Fast forward a year later and with Dr. Rucker set to deliver our Spring Conference Keynote focusing on current and future ONC initiatives, his anticipated remarks couldn’t be more timely as interoperability has recently dominated industry headlines once again.

On the heels of news from their HHS colleagues, that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will rename their meaningful use program in an effort to strengthen interoperability while making the program less burdensome, the ONC has announced their interoperability efforts are focusing on application programming interfaces, or APIs, so patients can access and eventually house their health information, currently held by various providers, in a single and secure platform.

In fact, just recently, Dr. Rucker penned a piece for the ONC Health IT Buzz Blog , exploring why patient access to health information will ultimately make them better and more informed consumers. In comparing healthcare APIs to that of a consumer using their smartphone’s transportation and map applications, Rucker argues, “what makes our smartphones so powerful is the multitude of apps and software programs that use open and accessible APIs for delivering new products to consumers and businesses, creating new market entrants and opportunities. There is nothing analogous to this app ecosystem in healthcare.” He continues by explaining that “while many patients can access their medical information through multiple provider portals, the current ecosystem is frustrating and cumbersome. The more providers they have, the more portals they need to visit, the more usernames and passwords they need to remember. In the end, these steps make it hard for patients to aggregate their information across care settings and prevent them from being empowered consumers.”

Rucker goes on to write how “ONC’s interoperability efforts focus on improving individuals’ ability to control their health information so they can shop for and coordinate their own care,” later adding “a robust health app ecosystem can lead to disease-specific apps and allow patients to share their health information with researchers working on clinical trials to test a drug or treatment’s efficacy, or monitoring outcomes like those in the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program.”

His piece concludes on a positive note, telling readers how “in recent years, the health IT industry has made positive strides. The HL7 Argonaut Project, a private sector initiative, has been developing a core set of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) implementation specifications. These specifications will enable expanded information sharing for electronic health records and other health IT solutions based on modern computing standards.”

"New authorities granted to ONC by Congress in the Cures Act, and efforts by HHS, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), and the Veterans Administration (VA) with the MyHealthEData initiative,” writes Rucker, “are helping promote more consistent data flows, inject market competition in healthcare, and return individual control of their care to the American public.”

Dr. Rucker’s entire blog post, APIs: A Path to Putting Patients at the Center , which also appeared on The Healthcare Blog , is not only worth reading, but should give attendees a preview of the high-level and though-provoking discussions that are certain to take place next month in Scottsdale.

Looking forward to connecting with you all soon!

- Charles W. Stellar , WEDI president and CEO
The 2018 WEDI Spring Conference is coming to the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., this May 21-23 for a series of high-level discussions that will be idea-focused, foster learning and provoke collaboration. Here’s a quick look at the exciting expert lineup and educational sessions we have in store. Oh, and don’t forget, room block rates expire on May 4. So book your room block today!  
In the latest installment our latest Member Spotlight, we caught up with Axway’s Ruby Raley, VP Sales, Healthcare, who shares how the company got its start to how they help make the American Healthcare System more efficient.

Read the complete WEDI Member Spotlight featuring Axway, here .
WEDI President and CEO Charles Stellar will join a group of healthcare leaders on Wednesday, May 9th from 1:40pm-4:30pm PT at the ARIA Las Vegas Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada where he’ll moderate an Executive Leadership Roundtable . Co-hosted with the HealthCare Executive Group (HCEG) , the  Center for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) , and the  International Association of Innovation Professionals (IAOIP) , this exclusive roundtable, which is part of the HLTH.CO Future of Healthcare conference taking place May 6-9, will focus on the importance of innovation and technology including research on the challenges with adoption of mobile and digital tools, in a rapidly changing, consumer-driven healthcare landscape.

For more information on the Executive Leadership Roundtable, click here .
Join our free webinar on Thursday, May 3 from 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. EDT during which Douglas Brush, Director, Cyber Investigations, Kivu Consulting, will explore ransomware and the security components you should have in place to prevent problems following a ransomware attack.

Douglas has over 22 years of professional technology experience. He is a recognized expert in cybersecurity, incident response, digital forensics, and information governance. In addition to leading proactive security assessments, he conducts investigations involving hacking, data breaches, trade secret theft, trademarks, intellectual property, employee malfeasance and a variety of other legal and governance issues. Douglas is also the founder and host of Cyber Security Interviews, a popular information security podcast.
With the WEDI 2018 Spring Conference less than a month away, Health IT Answers , the community network site dedicated to educating healthcare providers and other stakeholders on the advancement of health information exchange, interoperability and federal initiatives to adopt HIT standards, recently reported how the conference will bring healthcare leaders together across payers, providers, government regulators and industry vendors to discuss key issues impacting the healthcare landscape.

For the full article from Health IT Answers, click here .
All of our workgroups have special projects and activities underway, here’s just a brief highlight of a few:

The Acknowledgements Subworkgroup has identified eight pain points associated with the 277CA and the 999 transactions. The workgroup is working on survey questions to help prioritize the pain points for future issue briefs or white papers. They are looking for feedback from all participants within the industry to the survey. If anyone would like to help them provide clarity to the 999 and 277CA transactions, please join their calls on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 2:00 – 3:00 EST. 

Join the Claim Status Subworkgroup and contribute to the materials being presented at the WEDI conference during Wednesday’s 1:30 pm session, “Opportunities to Increase HIPAA Transaction Stakeholder Adoption – CAQH Index Follow Up”. The Claim Status SWG is focused on the exchange of claim status request/response (276/277), the business issues that prevent its adoption and potential ROI savings for both providers and health plans. Payers bring the top 10 claim issues that require rejections and why providers still call on these claim issues. Providers bring the top 10 claim issues you need to still call on rejected claims. Sign up for the WEDI-ClaimStatus@lists.wedi.org and plan to participate in the active discussion on Friday, May 4 at Noon ET. Those of you attending the WEDI conference, be sure to attend Wednesday’s session and look up the SWG Leadership Chris Muschong, Reza Hedayati, and Tammy Banks. They would enjoy hearing from you! 

The Eligibility and Benefits Subworkgroup has been working on a survey asking a series of questions in an effort to determine the biggest barriers facing payers, providers and vendors/clearinghouses. The purpose of the survey is to help find solutions to reduce calls and increase usage of the electronic 270/271 transaction. Survey questions are in the approval process with the goal to distribute the survey in early May and be able to discuss some of the results with SWG at the May ’18 WEDI conference.

Provider Information, what’s all the fuss about? Who needs the data, what data is needed, why is the data needed and how can we get the data? Come join the new Provider Information subworkgroup to find out what the fuss is all about on May 14th from 3-4 EST.

The Dental Subworkgroup is pleased to announce it is working on a dental industry specific EFT/ERA webinar outlining the benefits, efficiencies and cost savings associated with electronic data interchange claim submissions, electronic funds transfer and remittance advice. The subworkgroup will be meeting face-to-face at the upcoming WEDI National Spring Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona! Please join them on Monday, May 21, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Pima Room to meet their members and check out the planned 2018 activities. Hope to see you there!
Health Plans/Systems

Technology Solutions/Vendors



If you are a WEDI Corporate Member organization and would like to have your press releases included in a future edition of the WEDI Monthly Newsletter, please email with a link to your press release to tom@andersoni.com.
The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) is the leading authority on the use of health IT to improve healthcare information exchange in order to enhance the quality of care, improve efficiency and to reduce costs of the American healthcare system. Formed in 1991 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), WEDI was named in the 1996 HIPAA legislation as an advisor to HHS and continues to fulfill that role today.
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