When Did Information Blocking Regulations Take Effect?
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final rules in March 2020 detailing implementation of the Act's provisions and supporting the seamless and secure access, exchange and use of electronic health information. After receiving comments on the proposed rule from the ACC and other stakeholders, ONC modified the implementation timeline to allow more time for vendors, providers, and other affected actors to prepare and implement the new requirements. ONC also incorporated suggested changes to help clarify information blocking requirements, including providing details on who would be required to share electronic health information at an individual's request and how this should be completed.
Some provisions of these rules officially took effect April 5, 2021, after a delay due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As part of a larger MyHealthEData initiative by the agency, several policy changes were included to make patient data more useful and transferable through open, secure, standardized and machine-readable formats while reducing restrictive burdens on health care providers. The rule also requires hospitals to send electronic patient event notifications of a patient's admission, discharge, and/or transfer to another healthcare facility or provider.