The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is extending its contract with the Regenstrief Institute for another five years. CMS has been working with Regenstrief since 2016 for the creation and updating of LOINC® assessment data elements to be included in the CMS Data Element Library, (DEL).
LOINC, which stands for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, is a universal system to identify laboratory and health observations so they can be exchanged and understood across systems. It is used in nearly every country in the world.
“Adopting and implementing health data standards in a consistent and comprehensive manner is critical to enabling meaningful healthcare interoperability and ultimately improving health and healthcare,” said LOINC Executive Director Marjorie Rallins, DPM, M.S. “Together with CMS, LOINC is working to ensure this effort extends beyond primary care facilities by encoding survey assessments utilized in post-acute care settings, empowering providers to be able to facilitate coordinated care and improve patient health outcomes.”
Under the contract, LOINC facilitates important data exchange by providing thought leadership, content development and mapping for the assessment data elements that are included in the CMS Data Element Library. Assessment data elements are the questions and responses from tools used to evaluate patients in different healthcare settings, such as skilled nursing facilities. The Data Element Library serves as a central repository to link those elements with their associated health information technology standards. This facilitates interoperable and standardized health information exchange and care coordination.
The funding from this contract is expected to be more than $1.8 million over five years.
LOINC was created in 1994 at Regenstrief Institute in an effort to facilitate interoperability in healthcare. Today, the LOINC coding system contains more than 96,000 terms for everything from a serum alpha 1 antitrypsin level to a zygomatic arch x-ray report. For each concept, LOINC covers many other rich details, such as synonyms, units of measure and carefully crafted descriptions. With long-term funding support from U.S. federal agencies and other organizations, LOINC is available free of charge.
About Regenstrief Institute
Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.
Sam Regenstrief, a nationally successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.