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. Information blocking is any reasonable or necessary activity that is likely to interfere with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information.
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. Some provisions of these rules officially took effect April 5, 2021, after a delay due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read more.
It is important that clinicians understand the details of the new rules and how to comply. Visit the Information Blocking Resource Center, which includes a roundup of credible resources from the ONC, American Medical Association (AMA) and others. In addition, the ACC recommends the following key resources below from AMA, ONC and CMS. Stay tuned to the ACC Advocate newsletter for ongoing updates and tools.
- 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)
- 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