FARMINGTON, Conn., Aug. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), a non-profit standards development organization and accrediting body announced today the adoption of new criteria for the Health Information Exchange Accreditation Program (HIEAP), including the Texas Health Services Authority's (THSA) HIE state-level program that was released for review in March. The updated HIEAP criteria will assess health information and oversight of HIEs to ensure healthcare reform and privacy and security regulations are met, further establishing trust throughout the healthcare community, while the TX-HIEAP will allow Texas HIEs to ensure they meet state as well as national standards.
"Building trust is crucial to the success of any HIE," said EHNAC Executive Director Lee Barrett. "Utilizing the input of public comments, we have established an objective HIEAP evaluation that will ensure security and sustainability measures are met to enhance the efficiency and quality of service of HIEs and enable them to stay current with healthcare reform and marketplace trends."
Following the standard, 60-day public comment period, EHNAC has incorporated feedback to finalize and adopt the criteria for the HIEAP and for the TX-HIEAP. The HIEAP program certifies qualified HIEs to ensure they are operating under accepted and uniform standards in the handling of protected health information (PHI). In the program, EHNAC reviews technical performance, business processes, resource management and other relevant information to ensure that accredited HIEs are interoperable with state and federal programs, and provide the private, secure and proper exchange of health information in accordance with established laws and public policy.
Barrett discussed an additional benefit: "This year's adoption of final criteria for our national HIE accreditation program has provided extended value beyond its primary goal. This process has facilitated the custom-development of state-wide programs that are helping individual states like Texas provide guidelines for their own specific needs and regulations."
Tony Gilman, CEO of the THSA, spoke of the TX-HIEAP: "Through this program, public and private HIE organizations operating in Texas will be recognized for meeting and maintaining accepted and uniform standards in the handling of protected health information. The program will increase trust and confidence and ensure interoperability within the state."
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, eprescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators.
EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2007 as a public-private partnership, legally structured as a non-profit corporation, to support the improvement of the Texas health care system by promoting and coordinating HIE and health information technology (HIT) throughout the state to ensure that the right information is available to the right health care providers at the right times. For more information, visit www.HIETexas.org.