How Can I Participate in TEFCA?​

The TEF and the Common Agreement follow a “network of networks” structure, which allows for multiple points of entry and is inclusive of many different types of health care stakeholders. 

Such stakeholders include, but are not limited to:

  • Health Information Networks
  • Health information exchanges
  • Individuals
  • Providers
  • Federal agencies
  • Public health agencies
  • Health plans and other payers
  • Health IT developers

A Participant, Participant Member, or an Individual User may leverage the “network of networks” to exchange health information by connecting via a QHIN.

FAQ

The Draft TEF 2 proposal includes updated criteria for QHINs. In order to apply for QHIN Designation, a Health Information Network (HIN) must meet certain prerequisites, including already operating a network that provides the ability to locate and transmit EHI between multiple persons or entities electronically, with existing persons or entities exchanging EHI in a live clinical environment; and providing the RCE with a written plan of how it will achieve all of the requirements of the Common Agreement within a specified time period. A HIN must submit a QHIN Application to the RCE that documents that it meets these prerequisites, and the RCE must certify in writing that the HIN in question has satisfied these requirements. Once the RCE has approved a QHIN Application, the HIN becomes a Provisional QHIN and is assigned to a Cohort to complete the remainder of the requirements in the Common Agreement and QTF. A Provisional QHIN is only Designated a QHIN once the RCE has confirmed and documented that the Provisional QHIN in question has satisfied the requirements of the Common Agreement and the QTF. The RCE will also be responsible for monitoring QHINs on an ongoing basis and adjudicating noncompliance with the Common Agreement up to and including removal of the QHIN from ONC’s public directory on HealthIT.gov, when necessary. When the QHIN application package is finalized, it will be posted here.

Participants may include persons or entities that have entered into a contract to participate in a QHIN. Some examples of Participants could include, but are not limited to, a HIN, a health system, a health IT developer, a payer, or a federal agency.

Participant Members may include persons or entities that use the services of a Participant to send and receive EHI. For example, if a QHIN is composed of health information exchanges, the health information exchange would be the Participant, and those who use the health information exchange services, (such as health systems, ambulatory providers, health IT developers, payers, and others) are the Participant Members. Alternatively, a health IT developer could be a direct Participant of a QHIN, in which case, the Participant Members may be the provider practice that uses the health IT developer’s software or services.

An Individual User represents an actual person who is the subject of the EHI, such as a patient, health plan member, or a patient representative. Individual Users may have a Direct Relationship with the QHIN, Participant, or Participant Member, depending on the structure of the QHIN to which they belong, but they are not themselves considered Participants or Participant Members.