January 27, 2022

ONC Announces Prior Authorization Certification and USCDI Comment Opportunities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released two new public comment opportunities.

ONC published a Request for Information Jan. 24, regarding health IT certification program changes to support electronic prior authorization transactions. The goal discussed in a corresponding HHS announcement is to improve connectivity and exchange between electronic health record technologies and payers’ systems to expedite transactions and reduce manual burdens for patients and clinicians. To achieve this, the agency is exploring ways to incorporate recent industry standardization efforts into the certification criteria for health IT modules certified under ONC’s program that enable electronic prior authorization transactions.

ONC also released its latest draft of the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) for public comment by April 30. The USCDI is a basic set of health data classes and constituent data elements for nationwide health information exchange that is incorporated by reference into other federal initiatives, such as the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement. The draft includes a reason for referral data element in the procedures data class, several new patient demographics data elements and a new health insurance information data class. The proposed changes and additions to the USCDI were discussed in depth in the January issue of the ONC Health IT Standards Bulletin.

Interested members with questions and/or feedback for potential inclusion in future ACR comments can contact Michael Peters, American College of Radiology® Government Affairs Director.