Trust Principles Will Quickly Operationalize Interconnections among Networks

McLEAN, VA. (April 6, 2015) – Carequality today announced the publication of the Carequality Trust Principles, the policy foundation for connecting health data sharing networks throughout the U.S. Carequality, a Healtheway initiative, is a public-private collaborative supporting nationwide health IT interoperability to accomplish in healthcare what the telecommunications industry did to link cell phone networks.

“To reach our end goal of broad-based, interoperable exchange across network, vendor, and geographic boundaries, the community first has to agree on the foundational principles,” said Dave Cassel, Carequality Director. “It’s essential that these principles represent broad, multi-stakeholder consensus, because otherwise, they won’t engender trust among widespread exchange partners.”

The Carequality community that has come together to develop and implement the principles includes representatives from over 70 organizations from across the healthcare ecosystem. Providers, physicians, consumers, networks, vendors, government agencies, payers, behavioral health, long term care, hospice and home care, and research are among those represented.

Those implementing the Carequality framework agree to legal terms that operationalize the Trust Principles, which include:

  • HIPAA Compliance: All participants agree to implement HIPAA-compliant security and privacy practices, even if they are not otherwise subject to HIPAA requirements.
  • Nondiscrimination: Carequality implementers will not discriminate against other Carequality implementers to block interoperability.
  • Cooperation: Carequality implementers agree to cooperate with all other Carequality members to address connectivity issues, differences in standards interpretation, and resolution of disputes.
  • Transparency: Carequality implementers will make their information handling practices transparent and easily available to the public.
  • Acceptable Use: All members agree that they will deploy connectivity through Carequality only for the purposes permitted (for example, treatment) in the Carequality Implementation Guide governing each use case.
  • Local Autonomy: Carequality implementers may honor their own local rules so long as they are applied consistently and do not unfairly or unreasonably limit interoperability.

The full set of Carequality Trust Principles are available on the Carequality web site at

“It was great to see all of the varied players working closely with each other to achieve a common goal,” said Marc Chasin, MD, CIO of St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho, who chaired Carequality’s Trust Framework Work Group. “We needed to balance a lot of different viewpoints, and it worked because in the end, we were all there to advance interoperability and improve patient care.”

Adopting the Trust Principles is the first major step in making exchange across data sharing networks an operational reality. “In order for us to collectively eliminate the silos that have long-separated physical health from behavioral health care and organization from organization, we need an agreed upon framework of defining standards,” said Netsmart Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, Kevin Scalia. “As an advocate in the behavioral health community, Netsmart is pleased to be a part of this effort. It will give us a secure, trusted process for quickly connecting to a large number of physical health providers, enabling all involved to provide more informed, coordinated care for a vulnerable population.”

“The Carequality community saw the opportunity to accelerate the pace of interoperability by focusing on collaboration among networks,” said Mariann Yeager, Healtheway’s CEO. “Establishing trusted exchange across data sharing networks will be the cornerstone for our efforts moving forward.  With trust, together we succeed.”

To learn more about Carequality and find out how your organization can get involved, visit, or e-mail Follow Carequality on Twitter at @carequalitynet.


About Healtheway
Healtheway is a non-profit 501c3 chartered to advance implementation of secure, interoperable nationwide health information exchange (HIE). Healtheway currently supports two initiatives: the eHealth Exchange, a rapidly growing community of exchange partners who share information under a common trust framework and a common set of rules; and Carequality, a public-private collaborative effort to build consensus among existing data sharing networks regarding technical specifications and best practices (similar to how the telecommunications industry created a nationwide cell phone network). For more information about Healtheway, the eHealth Exchange and Carequality, visit Follow Healtheway on Twitter: @HealthewayInc.

About Carequality
Carequality is a public-private collaborative that facilitates agreement among diverse stakeholders to develop and maintain a common interoperability framework enabling exchange between and among data sharing networks. Carequality brings together a diverse group of representatives from the private sector and government to come to collective agreement on how to enable data to flow seamlessly between and among networks and providers, much like the telecommunications industry did for linking cell phone networks. For more information, visit and follow us at


Contact: Ivy Eckerman
Phone: (540) 373-2963

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