New Final Rules on Information Blocking and Exchange

 Friday, March 13, 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized rules implementing the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. The ONC final rule will also “update the criteria for health information systems to ensure that certified health IT systems can send and receive electronic health information in a structured format; make that electronic health information available through application programming interfaces; and export a patient’s electronic health information to a location designated by the patient,” according to the American Hospital Association (AHA).

The CMS final rule will require many state and federally funded programs to implement the same electronic standards as the ONC rule by 2021. In addition, it will require Medicare-participating hospitals to send electronic notifications to receiving providers when a patient is admitted, discharged or transferred. This will go into effect six months after publication of the final rule.

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