This time last year, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology announced its plans to adopt the interoperability and “information blocking” rule implementing part of the Cures Act. This new rule is scheduled to take effect on April 5, 2021, making right now a critical time for practices and providers to prepare for its effects on their practice with key information and education.
This rule seeks to increase health data exchange and limit refusals to share health data, and includes a provision requiring that patients be permitted to electronically access all of their electronic health information (EHI). While exceptions to the rule do apply, EHI generally must be made readily available at no cost to patients and their representatives, and at reasonable cost to others permitted to receive it. Furthermore, the “information blocking” (i.e. intentional withholding of patient health information) component of this new rule applies to three categories of organizations, including healthcare providers, health IT developers of certified health IT, and health information networks or health information exchanges.
To help practices prepare for this new rule, our Risk Management team has developed a comprehensive resource outlining Cures Act implications and frequently asked questions. This document outlines key information, including how medical records will be affected, to which healthcare providers the act applies, the extended definition of information blocking, exceptions to releasing information, exceptions that involve not fulfilling EHI requests, steps providers should take to prepare for the final rule, and more.
If you have specific questions regarding the the Cures Act, please feel free to contact one of our risk management experts at 800-662-7917.
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