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"Dear Administrator" Letter Notifies Health Care Providers of Health Information Exchange Requirement

The Department of Health (DOH) has issued a “Dear Administrator” letter notifying health care providers of the requirement to connect to the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY) by March 9, 2018. Under regulations adopted last year, this requirement applies to all health care facilities, including, among others, nursing homes, home care agencies, and hospice programs utilizing “certified electronic health record technology under the federal Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH).” These providers must connect with a “qualified entity (QE),” commonly referred to as a Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), to allow connectivity to the SHIN-NY. Participants must allow private and secure bi-directional access to patient information by other QE participants authorized by law to access such information. Earlier this year, DOH expanded its Data Exchange Incentive Program to help long-term/post-acute care providers defray the costs of building these connections.

DOH may waive the requirement to connect to a RHIO if the provider can demonstrate “economic hardship, technological limitations, or practical limitations that are not reasonably within [its] control, or other exceptional circumstances.” Waiver requests must identify the hardship, limitation, or circumstance for consideration and be submitted to DOH no later than March 9, 2018. The SHIN-NY waiver guidance can be found here.

Under the SHIN-NY Policy Guidance, the Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (CCD-A) described by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is the targeted format for health information exchange. If an organization (other than a general hospital) is unable to make the dataset available in CCD-A, other formats will be acceptable. The SHIN-NY Policy Guidance and regulations are available here.

More information about the SHIN-NY regulations is available here. Information about the Data Exchange Incentive Program is available here. DOH has directed questions about the regulations to Deirdre Depew at 518-474-5423.

Contact: Karen Lipson, klipson@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8383 ext. 124