Washington, DC – March 9, 2020 – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services released two final rules that will have a profound impact on the way patient information is exchanged – and the healthcare system as a whole. The two rules implement interoperability and patient access provisions contained in 2016’s 21st Century Cures Act and are designed to improve the ability of patients to securely access their own personal health information.
The final rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), entitled 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, and the final rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), entitled Interoperability and Patient Access, are the culmination of over five years of advocacy and work by consumer and privacy advocates, health care stakeholders, Congress, and the administration to address issues that have plagued the health care system: a lack of interoperability, insufficient patient access to and control of health records, and uncoordinated care.
“While we are still reviewing both rules, eHealth Initiative (eHI) applauds the administration on its work over many years to implement the critical interoperability and information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act,” said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, Chief Executive Officer of eHI. “We appreciate the administration’s continued focus on health data privacy and security, in addition to patient access to data. Through our project Building a Consumer Privacy Framework for Health Data, eHI, along with the Center for Democracy and Technology and our expert Steering Committee, will present options to address the current gaps in legal and regulatory protections for health data that falls outside HIPAA coverage. Our goal is that this framework will be useful as stakeholders look to execute the requirements of these final regulations.”
About eHealth Initiative
eHealth Initiative (eHI) convenes executives from every stakeholder group in healthcare to discuss, identify, and share best practices to transform the delivery of healthcare using technology and innovation. eHI, and its coalition of members, focus on education, research, and advocacy to promote the use and sharing of data to improve health care. Our vision is to harmonize new technology and care models in a way that improves population health and consumer experiences. eHI has become a go-to resource for the industry through its eHealth Resource Center. For more information, visit ehidc.org.