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August 31, 2022

The Sequoia Project Releases Common Agreement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and QHIN Application

*Update* The QHIN Application is now available. *Update*

The RCE expects to open QHIN Applications on October 3

(Vienna, VA – August 31, 2022) The Sequoia Project, selected by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) as the Recognized Coordinating Entity (RCE) to support the implementation of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), today released the following final documents:

  • Qualified Heath Information Network (QHIN) Application
  • Qualified Heath Information Network (QHIN) Onboarding & Designation SOP
  • Means To Demonstrate U.S. Ownership and Control of a QHIN SOP
  • Means To Demonstrate U.S. Ownership and Control of a QHIN SOP Questionnaire

Drafts of these documents were released earlier this summer for stakeholder feedback. The RCE and ONC considered all input received and modified and updated these documents in response to feedback.

“With this release, the RCE is moving into the operational phase of TEFCA,” said Mariann Yeager, chief executive officer of The Sequoia Project. “Since the release of the Common Agreement in January 2022, we’ve been working toward hitting our promised timelines while seeking input from the community. The feedback we received has been invaluable as we worked toward finalizing the SOPs and application.”

Potential QHINs may now notify the RCE of their intent to apply, as instructed in the QHIN Onboarding & Designation SOP. The intent to apply is the initial step in the application, onboarding, and designation process and does not indicate submission of the QHIN Application.

The RCE expects to open the application portal on Monday, October 3, 2022. The time period between now and then will allow prospective QHIN organizations to prepare their applications. The RCE will carefully evaluate applications to ensure that prospective QHINs meet the designation criteria. The RCE will announce the initial set of QHINs together; additional QHINs will be designated on a rolling basis.

“The release of the final QHIN Application and related documents is a major milestone for TEFCA. We have received tremendous stakeholder input for the crucial task of getting the policy and related requirements correct,” said Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., national coordinator for health information technology. “We are very excited about the market interest expressed in TEFCA, and now invite eligible organizations to apply to become QHINs and help achieve the goal of universal network interoperability across the country.”

Prospective QHIN organizations can now access all the resources and requirements they need to prepare for the application and potential onboarding process, including a diagram of the application process and the RCE Communications Protocols, on the RCE website.

The RCE is hosting a Prospective QHIN Office Hour Session today, August 31, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time, which will be a focused review of the materials released today and address any questions from prospective QHIN organizations. Registration is now open for this event at https://rce.sequoiaproject.org/community-engagement/.

For more information on the QHIN Application, expected timeline, additional resources and more, visit the RCE website at https://rce.sequoiaproject.org.

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