The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released its Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Certification Program Updates, Algorithm Transparency, and Information Sharing (HTI-1) Proposed Rule. The Leapfrog Group submitted public comments with over a dozen signatures from employer groups and other stakeholders.
We commend the ONC for the proposal to identify health care facilities by brick-and-mortar facility. Continued use of single identifier for a broader health system that may include multiple individual facilities is misleading. This single change of identifiers would have a powerful and positive impact on health care transparency and quality of care. The shift in identifiers allows for quality and safety reporting that is optimally accessible and usable by public and private purchasers, as well as the public at large. The public requires by-facility reporting because individuals seeking health care do not seek care from a corporate entity, but from one particular hospital, surgery center, or other facility. Purchasers need individual identifiers to target the highest quality care when they select networks, report quality data to employees, and structure contracts.