The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published the Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Certification Program Updates, Algorithm Transparency, and Information Sharing (HTI-1) Final Rule on Dec. 13. The new rule requires new and updated standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria for electronic health records and health information technology modules for certification through the ONC certification program.
Most notably, the final rule mandated that certified Health IT must adopt version 3 of the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI v3) no later than Jan. 1, 2026. The USCDI v3 standard, which consists of health data classes and constituent data elements required to facilitate interoperable health information exchange, is currently available and can be implemented sooner than the deadline by health IT developers and their customers.
HIMSS recommended a Jan. 1, 2026, deadline to allow for time to successfully complete the extensive work required to implement and test the new and revised criteria across the healthcare ecosystem in a manner ensuring that quality, safety and patient privacy would not be compromised; and that healthcare delivery sites caring for underserved communities were not left behind. The implementation of new standards and certification criteria associated with USCDI v3 were also delayed.
“HIMSS applauds ONC on the release of today's HTI-1 final rule, which takes a realistic path to achieving greater information sharing to aid patient safety and accelerates digital health transformation in the U.S.," said Tom Leary, senior vice president and head of government relations at HIMSS. “We appreciate ONC listening to stakeholders to establish a timeline to successfully complete the extensive work required to implement the new and revised criteria in a manner ensuring that quality, safety and patient privacy are not compromised; and that healthcare delivery sites caring for underserved communities aren’t left behind.”
The rule also establishes:
ONC will host a series of listening sessions to go over the provisions of the HTI-1 final rule. In addition, HIMSS will publish a series of resources to help the community understand the provisions of the HTI-1 final rule on the HIMSS 21st Century Cures Act resource page in the coming weeks.
The HIMSS policy team works closely with the U.S. Congress, federal decision makers, state legislatures and governments, and other organizations to recommend policy, and legislative and regulatory solutions to improve health through information and technology.