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The Road to UDS+: Past, Present, and Future

Well, here we are, two weeks into May (don’t blink or you might miss it!), and well into the UDS+ Calendar Year 2023 (CY23) voluntary submissions. In case you missed it, on March 26th Azara became the first vendor to successfully submit data to HRSA via bulk FHIR APIs.  Following this major milestone, we submitted UDS+ CY23 data to HRSA for a total of 55 Federally Qualified Health Centers!

“This is great news and a huge milestone,” said Anita Li, Data and Technology Program Manager at the Community Health Care Association of New York State.

If you’ve been following along in the UDS+ journey – whether it be joining HRSA’s UTC calls, volunteering to submit data in Cohorts 1 or 2, or just reaching out with questions out of curiosity – you know it’s been a long road for all parties involved. We wouldn’t have been able to get here today without the incredible clients and partners who have engaged with us and the HRSA UDS+ team through this process.  

I had the chance to speak with Chandra Beasley, Director of Information Technology with the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association, who has been directly involved in the UDS+ process with both Azara and HRSA’s teams.

Rachel: “Chandra, is there anything about the idea of UDS+ that excites you?”

Chandra: “It excites me because I understand it, but it can be frustrating to those who don’t understand it because of the way things are communicated out. We get so excited about technological advances that it’s hard not to pitch it as such a technical thing! However, this integration gets us closer to looking at patients fully. This brings us closer to having some type of seamless data integration for patients across systems. As a health center, I would love to eventually go and look at something HRSA has that shows data from a patient, almost like an HIE. And you are closer to having that when we have these initiatives. That’s what I’m excited about with this first step in seeing where this innovation can take us.”

With the Cohort 2 submission period now underway, we’re all eager to see what happens next. How do the UDS+ calculated results compare to the EHB reported results? What is the UDS+ submission requirement for the coming reporting year (CY24)?

Another question I’ve heard is: How will centers that don’t already integrate with one of the five approved vendors submit?

The good news is that HRSA announced on May 14th the 2024 Quality Improvement Award for UDS+ as supplemental funding for things like covering costs related to implementing new programs or technologies (like Azara DRVS!). Here’s a snippet of the announcement – read more on the BPHC website here.

In June, HRSA will make available $55 million in one-time fiscal year 2024 funding to all health center grantees. This Quality Improvement Award funding is intended to support HRSA-funded health centers to prepare for and implement programs and technologies to ensure high-quality, patient-level data submissions as part of the modernization of the Uniform Data System (UDS+).

Fortunately, any center that utilizes Azara DRVS is able to submit UDS+ through the platform free of charge! In response to what Azara’s UDS+ offering looks like, Chandra also said:

“Number 1: Azara isn’t charging for UDS+! It’s easier to work with Azara, and not only do you have your UDS stuff within DRVS, but you have so many other things. Different initiatives and partnerships, like the AMA MAP BP measures.”

If you were at Azara’s 8th Annual User Conference in Boston a few weeks ago, you probably heard updates from our Chief Technology Officer, Greg Augustine, on where Azara currently stands in the UDS+ process. For those who couldn’t join us, here’s the nuts and bolts:

Where UDS+ Stands

Cohort 2 submissions are open. Any health centers can participate, whether all your patient population is within DRVS or not (i.e. dental data is within another system).

Where Azara stands

We are preparing to begin submissions to HRSA for Cohort 2 participants. The Cohort 2 submission period ends June 30th. We ask our clients to opt in by June 21st.  Contact your Client Success Manager or email if you are interested in participating.

Coming Soon

Centers who submit to HRSA via Azara will have the ability to download the UDS+ FHIR files within the DRVS UDS+ Submission Admin page in mid-May (date to be announced).

Other Notes From the Team

Centers will be given a report generated by HRSA which compares HRSA’s UDS+ calculated results to the results submitted by centers via the EHB (timing to be announced by HRSA). It is unknown at this time whether these results will be shared with vendors (i.e. Azara) – we welcome any center that feels comfortable to share the results/process with us.

If you would like to know more about UDS+, are interested in participating in Cohort 2 submissions, or want to learn about how the Azara DRVS platform can work for your health center, contact your CSM or connect with our support team at!