On Tuesday, standards development organization Health Level Seven International announced that beginning in the first quarter of 2013 it will make most of its intellectual property, including standards, available at no cost under licensing agreements, Healthcare Informatics reports (Healthcare Informatics, 9/4).
The intellectual property HL7 is making available at no cost includes:
- Domain analysis models;
- Implementation guides; and
- Some tools.
The property will not be licensed on the open-source market. Instead, HL7 will continue to control the content, which will be developed and voted upon based on the group's rules and standards development requirements under the American National Standards Institute.
Charles Jaffe, CEO of HL7, said the organization's decision to make its intellectual property available at no cost is aimed at advancing interoperability internationally and better aligning with other standards groups that have implemented similar models (Goedert, Health Data Management, 9/4).
In a release, John Halamka -- CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and professor at Harvard Medical School -- said, "This announcement is the most significant standards development in the past decade," adding, "It ensures that every stakeholder will have ready access to the content standards they need for meaningful use" (Healthcare Informatics, 9/4).
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
In a separate blog post, Halamka -- who is co-chair of the Health IT Standards Committee -- said HL7's decision is a "milestone for interoperability."
In a tweet, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari said the move "will be huge for removing a significant barrier for small startups and innovators that get involved in health" (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 9/4).