HIEs and HINs - Supporting Legal and Policy Requirements

HIEs and eCR

Although public health reporting is required by law in every state and territory, compliance is uneven and traditional reporting processes are, at times, considered burdensome. Electronic case reporting (eCR) automates the reporting process and provides more complete reporting data to help reduce healthcare provider reporting burden and burden from subsequent investigations.

However, state reporting laws are complex and vary from one jurisdiction to another. Sorting out what is reportable to whom and when is a service that you can provide through eCR. In order for the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) Informatics Messaging Services (AIMS) platform to manage the electronic initial case reports (eICRs) triggered in clinical care and confirm reportability, it needs to be a business associate of the participating healthcare provider organizations (For more information on data sharing, visit the Healthcare Providers - Confirm Policy Path page). Since Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) are already business associates of the healthcare provider organizations they connect, a single agreement between your HIE and APHL can support all of the connected healthcare providers. APHL is also working with the eHealth Exchange to provide eCR services, and, for HIEs that are current with an eHealth Exchange participation agreement and Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (DURSA), no additional agreement may be needed.

The data in the eICR were identified by a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) task force for electronic case reporting. As such, they meet HIPAA “minimum necessary” criteria for public health reporting. 

HIE Opt-Out Policies

HIPAA and state laws enable public health case reporting for the specific conditions included without patient consent. It is important that HIE opt-out policies do not include this required reporting in their scope. Patients cannot opt-out of mandatory public health case reporting.