VA expands data sharing with private providers with new accreditation

The Department of Veterans Affairs is improving its data-sharing capabilities with VA hospitals and private sector providers with new accreditation from the nonprofit association DirectTrust. The VA has joined DirectTrust’s accredited trust anchor bundle, enabling VA clinicians to more easily coordinate care with the 1.8 million providers that are already part of the bundle. The development will improve care coordination between the VA and private healthcare providers, VA and DirectTrust officials said. DirectTrust is an association that brings together healthcare providers, insurers and technology vendors as part of the Direct exchange network. Direct is a technical standard to exchange patient data. The VA has been a member of DirectTrust and one of its accredited network operators since September 2015, according to Scott Stuewe, DirectTrust president and CEO. However, until now, the VA needed to negotiate separate connections in order to “trust” facilities outside the VA for clinical information exchange, he said.

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