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HHS Updates Deadline on Proposed Rules to Improve Interoperability of EHI

HHS Updates Deadline on Proposed Rules to Improve Interoperability EHI

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed new rules to support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (ePHI). The rules issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would increase choice and competition while fostering innovation that promotes patient access to and control over their health information.

Specifically, CMS is proposing the following:

  • Require healthcare providers and plans to implement open data sharing technologies to support transitions of care.
  • A more interoperable healthcare system, requiring health insurers to share their information in an accessible format by 2020.
  • Publicly report providers or hospitals that participate in "information blocking," practices that unreasonably limit the availability, disclosure, and use of electronic health information undermine efforts to improve interoperability.
  • Adoption of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) so individuals can securely and easily access structured and unstructured electronic health information (EHI) formats using smartphones and other mobile devices.
  • Implementation of the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, including identifying reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking.
  • Ensure patients can electronically access their electronic health information at no cost.
  • Pricing information that could be included as part of EHI so that the public can see the prices they are paying for their healthcare.

CMS believe the collaborative efforts of stakeholders are crucial to achieving three goals:

  1. The vision of a learning health system where individuals are at the center of their care and providers have a seamless ability to securely access and use health information from different sources.
  2. To provide access to individuals health information, which is stored in electronic health records, but includes information from many different sources and portrays a longitudinal picture of their health.
  3. Helping public health agencies and researchers rapidly learn, develop, and deliver cutting edge treatments.

HHS recently announced the deadline for public comments has been extended by 30 days for two proposed regulations aimed at promoting the interoperability of health information technology and enabling patients to electronically access their health information. The new deadline for the submission of comments - June 3, 2019.

HHS also has released FAQs on Access Right and HIT, Generally and Access Right, Apps and APIs. These FAQs can be accessed by clicking HERE.

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