Two key organizations recently entered into collaborations with the National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE), a not-for-profit membership association that works to enable trusted exchange among organizations and individuals in states with differing regulations and exchange preferences. NATE works to overcome legal, policy and technical barriers that inhibit health information exchange between HIPAA covered entities and the consumers that they serve.

On May 3, 2016, NATE and the CommonWell Health Alliance® announced that each would become a member of the other’s organization to form “a mutual synergistic and complementary relationship” to improve cross-vendor interoperability, assuring provider and patient access to health data regardless of where the care is provided.

“The nation’s focus is shifting toward increasing a consumer’s capabilities to exercise their Patient Right of Access under HIPAA and NATE is excited to continue to collaborate with CommonWell and its membership in realizing this important goal. NATE believes that consumers are better partners for providers when they have information symmetry, and that many opportunities exist and will emerge between CommonWell and NATE that will enable the trustworthy sharing of professionally- and patient-generated health information,” said Aaron Seib, NATE CEO.

CommonWell is a not-for-profit trade association devoted to the simple vision that health data should be available to providers and patients regardless of where care occurs. By building the capability to exchange health data into their software, CommonWell members enable providers to work seamlessly within their existing workflow for expeditious.

“CommonWell looks forward to participating in NATE’s efforts to encourage the sharing of information between our members and the patients they serve and is eager to welcome NATE’s contributions to our work. Our organizations agree that patients should be at the center of their health care and that their providers can be empowered to deliver care that is informed by secure and authorized access to that patient’s data, no matter where care has occurred,” said Nick Knowlton, Membership Committee Chair for CommonWell Health Alliance and Vice President at Brightree.

On June 10, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) formally joined NATE as a member organization. The VA will participate in the NATE initiatives for the Consumers (NBB4C) Trust Bundle. By joining NATE, it is showing support for VA patients’ access to their medical data in the Consumer Trust Bundle, according to an announcement from NATE. The Consumer Trust Bundle was started last year to support interoperable patient-initiated access to medical information.