Until recently, the California Trusted Exchange Network (CTEN), a critical part of California’s strategy for statewide health information exchange, only supported the exchange of Direct messages and query-based transactions using the eHealth Exchange specifications.

On September 15, 2017, the California Interoperability Committee approved changes to CTEN policies and procedures generalizing the CTEN. Participants can now use the CTEN trust framework to exchange health information via any existing data exchange standard, or even nonstandard specifications parties agree to use. The only limitation is that exchange be for treatment, payment, or health care operations as defined by HIPAA and as currently allowed under the California Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (CalDURSA), the multiparty data sharing agreement that is the basis for CTEN’s trust framework.

This change in policy is a breakthrough. While Direct messaging and eHealth Exchange will remain important components of inter-organizational exchange in California, their use is well-governed by other trust frameworks in addition to the CTEN. However, no information sharing trust framework provides the flexibility of the CTEN to use any transaction or technical specification.

Read the full press release here.