About Information Blocking
- What Is Information Blocking?
Information blocking is defined as any reasonable or necessary activity that is likely to interfere with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information. Clinicians and patients can experience "information blocking" in many forms, whether trying to access patient records from health care providers, linking electronic health records (EHRs) to clinical data registries like NCDR, transferring or migrating data between EHRs, and/or connecting EHR systems to local health information exchanges. The 21st Century Cures Act, which passed in December 2016, included provisions to promote health information interoperability and prohibit information blocking. Some of these provisions took effect April 5, 2021. Learn more.
It is important that clinicians understand the details of the new rules and how and when to comply. For ACC Advocacy tips on how to comply, click here.
- April 5, 2021: Information Blocking provisions go into effect (limited to electronic health information in core data elements for interoperability)
- July 1, 2021: Regulated health plans must be able to share claims, encounter, clinical & formulary data via FHIR APIs
- Jan 1, 2022: Regulated health plans must share health information with another health plan to which the member transitions
- Oct 6, 2022: Full Information Blocking provisions go into effect (Electronic Health Information no longer limited to specific data elements)
- Dec 31, 2022: EHRs must meet new FHIR API and other technical criteria for certification
Resources and Tools
Visit the Information Blocking Resource Center, which includes a roundup of credible resources from the ONC, American Medical Association (AMA) and others to learn more. In addition, the ACC recommends the following key resources below from AMA, ONC and CMS.
- Information Blocking: How Do I Comply and Where Do I Start? (AMA)
- Information Blocking FAQs (ONC)
- 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability Final Rule Overview (ONC)
- Who Qualifies As An Information Blocking Actor? (ONC)
- Qualified Information Blocking Exceptions (ONC)
- Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule Fact Sheet (CMS)
- Health Care Provider Definition and Cross-Reference Table
- Information Blocking Exceptions
- United States Core Data for Interoperability
Stay tuned to the ACC Advocate newsletter and @Cardiology on Twitter for ongoing updates and tools your practice can use for education and compliance.