Health Affairs: Former National Health IT Coordinators Respond to Proposed ONC, CMS Interoperability Rules

“In February 2019, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new regulations to advance interoperability across key sectors of our nation’s health care system and empower patients and their caregivers with easier access to their personal health information. The proposed regulations would implement part of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) of 2016.”

“We, the six people who have served as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology since the ONC was formed in 2004, unanimously believe that these rules have the potential to transform how information flows through our health care system, catalyzing broad innovation and engaging and empowering consumers. We strongly support the proposed proactive measures for the acceleration of information exchange and interoperability, including the promotion of technical standards and the use of hospital conditions of participation. We also applaud the proposed rule’s enforcement mechanisms against the use of pricing to restrict patients’ access to their health information and other types of information blocking…”

“The proposed rules would additionally require the adoption of new data standards, in particular the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard and the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI)…”

“The rules also include important provisions to prevent health care “information blocking” — actions that impede information from being shared — by defining legitimate and specific instances when information may be temporarily withheld.  These provisions…” Read the full post here.

Source: Former National Health IT Coordinators Respond To Proposed ONC, CMS Interoperability Rules – By David Blumenthal, David Brailer, Karen DeSalvo, Robert Kolodner, Farzad Mostashari, Vindell Washington, June 4, 2019. Health Affairs.

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