Health IT Proposed Rules Abound: We Need Your Help
Leslie Krigstein – VP, Congressional Affairs
|Mari Savickis – VP, Federal Affairs|
As many of you are aware, last week the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released more than 800 pages of rules aimed at improving nationwide interoperability.
The ONC proposed rule implements certain provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. Those provisions include conditions and maintenance of certification requirements for health IT developers under the ONC Health IT Certification Program, the voluntary certification of health IT for use by pediatric healthcare providers and reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking. The rule would also modify the 2015 Edition health IT certification criteria.
This CMS rule is aimed at increasing the interoperability of the healthcare system and speeding patient access to their data. The rule proposes requiring Medicare-participating hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and critical access hospitals to send electronic notifications when a patient is admitted, discharged or transferred. Further, CMS has proposed to require Medicare Advantage plan issuers, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs, Medicaid and CHIP managed care organizations, and qualified health plan issuers to develop and maintain an application programming interface (API) to make patient data available via third-party products.
Imbedded in the proposed rules were a few requests for information (RFIs) addressing topics including long-term care, and of particular interest to CHIME, patient matching. On patient matching, ONC asked for feedback on questions concerning complete and accurate patient data collection, empowering patients to improve matching and patient matching indicators. CMS asked if they should require plan participants to leverage a patient matching algorithm with a certain level of efficacy, expand the Medicare Beneficiary ID program or connect with EHRs to provide source data to verify patient identities.
The comment periods for the rules is 60 days and CHIME will request an extension, given the far-reaching implications on our membership and the nation’s healthcare system.
CHIME will be hosting work group calls throughout the month of March and we welcome your participation. We have provided some helpful links at the end of the article to learn more about the proposed rules and the accompanying RFIs. Please contact [email protected] to share your initial thoughts or to join our work groups.
Stay tuned; we are still combing through the rules and will release additional resources in the coming days and weeks.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):
Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC):
- Proposed rule: “21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program.
- API Conditions of Certification Presentation
- Information Blocking Fact Sheets:
- Information Blocking Exception for Recovering Costs Reasonably Incurred [PDF – 180KB]
- Information Blocking Exception for Practices that Prevent Harm [PDF – 160KB]
- Information Blocking Exception for Practices that Maintain and Improve Health IT Performance [PDF – 144KB]
- Information Blocking Exception for Requests that are Infeasible [PDF – 150KB]
- Information Blocking Exception for Privacy-Protective Practices [PDF – 165KB]
- Information Blocking Exception for the Licensing of Interoperability Elements on Reasonable and Non-discriminatory Terms [PDF – 206KB]
- Information Blocking Exception for Security-Related Practices [PDF – 235KB]