- The Biden administration has renewed its contract with the Sequoia Project, allowing the nonprofit to continue overseeing the country’s nascent network for nationwide healthcare interoperability over the next five years.
- With the new contract, the Sequoia Project will stay on as recognized coordinating entity, or RCE, for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, a key patient health data-sharing initiative that’s slated to go live later this year.
- The Sequoia Project has received almost $3 million in government funding since it began serving as RCE in 2019. The nonprofit will receive $2 million in the first year of its new five-year contract — the only year that’s been funded so far, according to a spokesperson.
The Office of the National Coordinator, which oversees U.S. health IT, selected the Sequoia Project as the first RCE in 2019.
As RCE, the Sequoia Project is responsible for developing and implementing the Common Agreement portion of the TEFCA interoperability guidelines — creating baseline technical and legal requirements for different health IT systems to communicate with each another and share electronic information.
The Sequoia Project also helped the ONC choose qualified health information networks, or QHINs, and is responsible for monitoring the groups along with modifying and updating their technical requirements.
The renewal of the Sequoia Project’s contract comes at a key time for TEFCA.
The initiative — a provision of the 21st Century Cures Act passed in 2016 — was finalized in early 2022. After receiving applications for candidate QHINs, the HHS approved the first six QHINs for onboarding in February this year.
That list of organizations that intend to complete testing and onboarding by the end of 2023 has since grown to seven, and includes major EHR vendor Epic and a number of interoperability infrastructure organizations.
The Sequoia Project is a public-private partnership that advocates for nationwide health IT exchange. The group was founded in 2012 and has been in charge of the nationwide health information network exchange, called the eHealth Exchange. It became an independent body in 2018.