HHS' Proposed Rules Designed to Support the Access, Exchange and Use of EHI

On February 11th, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two proposed rules that are designed to support the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI), and improve the interoperability of health information. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued their rule in hopes that they would increase innovation and competition, improving the interoperability of health information.

What exactly is in the rules?

CMS’ proposed rule would require healthcare providers to adopt a standardized application programming interface that would enable patients to access their EHI safely and securely from their smartphones at no extra cost. This proposed rule would apply to government health plans or health plans sold on the Exchange by the year 2020.

ONC’s proposed rule would implement certain provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). The Cures Act was signed into law in December 2016 in an effort to accelerate medical developments and bring innovations to patients quicker. The newly proposed rules would implement the information blocking provisions of the Cures Act to support the flow of health information to patients.

What’s next for the rules?

For 60 days following the proposed rule’s publication, the public can submit their comments on the rule. For instructions on how you can submit your comment, click here.

We will continue to monitor the developments of the proposed will and will provide updates as necessary.