Data Council Work Plan: Agenda Item 2



Coordinate HHS and Inter-Departmental Health Data Standards Activities.

Objective 1: Advance efforts to coordinate health data standards within HHS, within the Federal government, and with state and local agencies and the private sector.

Specific action items:

  1. Coordinate federal health data standards activity
    1. Develop policy statements regarding philosophy of federal agencies working with private sector standards setting organizations to develop, implement, and maintain health data standards to support their data and information needs.
      1. Develop HHS policy statement on health data standards [COMPLETED - Approved by Data Council, April 10, 1996]
      2. Develop inter-departmental policy statement on health data standards
    2. Establish Inter-departmental Data Council Committee on Health Data Standards
      1. Offer opportunity for representation by every OPDIV and STAFFDIV and Department [COMPLETED - Approved by Data Council, April 10, 1996]
      2. Hold regular meetings staffed by ASPE [COMPLETED - First meeting, April 17, 1996]
      3. Make regular communications available to all interested parties
      4. Identify health data standards issues that require Data Council attention
      5. Continue development of 'lead agency' approach to adoption and coordination of health information standards for federal agencies
      6. Incorporate currently active federal health data standards coordinating bodies, e.g., the Federal Inter-departmental Data Working Group (FIDWG) of Maternal and Child Health (MCH)
      7. Actively involve other departments that have a stake in health information, such as VA and DOD
    3. Implement communications methods
      1. Develop an Internet web page for the Data Council, with sub-pages for each agenda item and committee
      2. Develop e-mail listserv capabilities to ease electronic sharing of information
      3. Make available an electronic schedule of all health data standards meetings indicating who will attend or did attend
    4. Document current federal health data standards activities
      1. Survey of current federal health data standards projects - AHCPR contract
        1. Describe current activities
        2. Include agency/person responsible, goals, recent accomplishments, etc.
        3. Build ongoing mechanism to maintain this registry and make it available electronically (using the methods described above )
    5. Develop policies for how HHS will relate to a variety of voluntary, mostly private, health data standards setting activities at national and international forums
      1. Obtain a legal opinion on how HHS representatives may participate as:
        1. Observer,
        2. Participant,
        3. Member, or
        4. Board of Directors. [COMPLETED - Presented to Data Council, April 10, 1996]
      2. Define policy for participation and get Data Council approval
        1. Memberships for DHHS vs. individual agencies
        2. Primary HHS representative from 'lead' agency on each standards issue or organization
        3. Secondary (backup) representative assigned from another agency, same agency, or ASPE
      3. Define sources of funds
        1. Membership fees from 'lead' agency
        2. Travel expenses from 'home' agency
    6. Coordinate representation to the following organizations so that the messages that HHS representatives bring to these organizations are informed by and compatible with the deliberations of the Data Council and the needs of the different agencies and applications:
      1. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs)
      2. ANSI Health Informatics Standards Board (HISB)
      3. Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI)
      4. National Uniform Claims Committee (NUCC)
      5. National Uniform Billing Committee (NUBC)
      6. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
      7. Computer-based Patient Record Institute (CPRI)
      8. Medical Records Institute (MRI)
      9. Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
      10. National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
      11. Others...
  2. Develop strategy for federal support and use of standards for the structure, content, and transmission of health data
    1. Develop policy for support and use of standards for health data elements, including the definition of data elements that must be exchanged or aggregated to support health care, research, and public health objectives
      1. Explore potential of shared tools to support common data dictionary
      2. Share plan/resources with private sector groups with similar interest
      3. Promote standardization of definitions for a set of commonly used core health data elements on persons and encounters
        1. Build on work and recommendations of National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics (NCVHS), assuring coordination with departmental efforts (e.g., McData) and those of major standard setting organizations in developing data sets and data dictionaries.
        2. Consider relationship of NCVHS standardization efforts to the work of the NUBC and NUCC to develop a uniform minimum data set for electronic claims transmission to public and private payers.
      4. Build on the common data dictionary to include a standard processes for acquiring each data element or group of elements.
    2. Develop policy for support and use of standards for the valid range of values for health data elements, including values for identifiers, demographic data, health nomenclature, and statistical classifications
      1. Develop policies regarding federal development/support of unique identifier systems for all users
        1. Providers - HCFA NPS [COMPLETED - Presented to Data Council, April 10, 1996]
        2. Locations
        3. Products
        4. Individuals
        5. Suppliers
        6. Insurers - HCFA Payer ID [COMPLETED - Presented to Data Council, April 10, 1996]
      2. Develop Department-wide policy about crosscutting nomenclature issues
        1. OMB race-ethnicity standard development process
        2. Occupation and industry classifications
      3. Recommend support and use of specific nomenclature systems
        1. Determine domain of standards for which federal government is most appropriate holder
        2. Ensure that there is adequate standard terminology for health nomenclatures required for the many governmental purposes
        3. Ensure that the nomenclature is maintained by making appropriate agreements with public and private organizations
        4. Made the nomenclature available electronically to all in database format suitable for conversion into many potential applications
      4. Recommend timing and implementation strategies for classification systems
        1. Tenth Revision of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) for diagnoses (mortality and morbidity) and "ICD-10 Procedure Classification System." Review timing, implementation strategies, educational efforts, adequacy of resources for implementation, developing crosswalks, etc.
        2. Address classification issues related to resource intensiveness of services (e.g., DRGs, APGs, and their use of ICD and CPT)
        3. Develop policies regarding the development of new classification systems (or modification of existing systems) to meet priority data needs (e.g., International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (ICIDH), International Classification of Primary Care (ICPC)).
        4. Consider the problems created by multiple classifications systems and what role the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) can play to lessen these difficulties.
    3. Develop policy for support and use of standards for health data transmission
      1. Create a subset of the Interdepartmental Data Council Committee on Health Data Standards to serve as the Federal EDI Standards Management Coordinating Committee (FESMCC) Health Workgroup to address EDI issues
  3. Formulate the results of studies and standards activities so that they are useful to state and local agencies
    1. Participate in or implement electronic publication of standards and summaries in forms accessible to people who are not technical experts.