DirectTrust predicts the end of Meaningful Use

Next year will be another one of "momentous forward movement" when it comes to interoperability in the healthcare sector, DirectTrust predicts.

The industry alliance of Direct exchange network users Tuesday released a report on 2016 healthcare trends in the interoperable exchange of information.

"In the world of electronic health information exchange, we're on track for ... increased adoption by providers and greater interoperability between federal and state agencies with private-sector providers. We'll also see, finally, patient and consumer participation in the use of electronic health information exchange," David Kibbe, M.D., president and CEO of DirectTrust, said in an announcement.

Those trends will include:

  • "Freed" healthcare data: Greater access by patients and consumers to their information will help free data from "confines" like electronic health records, health payers and health information exchanges, DirectTrust predicts. In addition, it'll lead to more patient-facing tools that will allow them to better use the data.
  • Patient engagement: Along with that freed data will come greater participation of patients in the whole process--icluding access to records and the ability to mvoe them to new providers and platforms. "Healthcare consumers will take, as their right, control of their own health information in much greater numbers. The corresponding willingness of provider organizations to permit this patient ... will also become more evident across the U.S.," the report says.
  • Retirement of Meaningful Use: DirectTrust sees the third stage of the program being phased out by the end of next year, as the industry achieves many significant goals. Many in the industry have voiced concern about Meaningful Use Stage 3, and providers may be willing to face penalties instead of spending more money on health IT that they may not see adding value to their organization, the report notes.
  • Security will rule: With increasing cyberattacks on the healthcare industry and the high cost of addressing breaches, there will be greater concern about information protection, DirectTrust says. "Parties involved in electronic data exchanges will insist on more and more rigorous certification, accreditation and audit of security and identity controls as a first condition of participating in data sharing," according to the report.

However, true interoperability in healthcare may be a long time coming. While hospitals are sharing more data than ever, thanks to increased adoption of electronic health records, limitations and high costs are barriers in their use to improve care, according to a report from the American Hospital Association.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement