PERSPECTIVES

Information Blocking

April 5 is a big day in healthcare. This day marks the first of a series of compliance deadlines for the 21st Century Cures Act’s information blocking provisions.

The Cures Act, passed by Congress in December 2016, authorized funding for and regulations of numerous healthcare issues, including modifications to drug and device approval processes, funding for mental health and substance abuse resources, and curtailing practices that prevent the access to and exchange and use of electronic health information (EHI), known as information blocking.

The ONC was tasked with creating provisions for this last part.

Information blocking will impact virtually every healthcare stakeholder with access to EHI. The rule promises to bring the healthcare industry closer to the long-awaited ideal of seamless data exchange to improve everything from patient outcomes and care coordination to operational efficiency and health record accuracy.

One of the unique innovations of the rule is the level of control it gives to patients over their own health records. The Final Rule makes it explicit that when it comes to control of their health records and healthcare decisions, the patient is firmly in the driver’s seat.

For some healthcare professionals, the information blocking rules offer the best path toward realizing healthcare’s vision of a patient-centered ecosystem.

“The Cures Act may be our industry’s best chance for finally fulfilling the long-promised vision of one record tethered to the patient,” writes Seth Jeremy Katz, vice president of HIM and revenue cycle at Truman Medical Centers. “Every healthcare stakeholder should embrace this opportunity and develop new, patient-centric ways to better our system.”

Resources

AHIMA’s Information Blocking Resource Page

AHIMA’s one-stop resource will equip HIM professionals with guidance in relevant areas, including privacy and security, and information governance, while also empowering them to provide evidence-based strategies to collaborators in every healthcare domain. Click here.

Essential Content

Below are highlights of some of the best information coverage provided by AHIMA.

Infographic: The Information Blocking Final Rule

Journal of AHIMA: Game Planning the Information Blocking Final Rule

Insights: Five Strategies for Your Organization’s Information Blocking Plan

Webinar: Practical Steps in Complying with the 21st Century Cures Act and Information Blocking

Opinion: How the Information Blocking Rule Will Bring True Innovation to Healthcare

Podcast: Information Blocking: One Hospital’s Road to Compliance

 

Read more about Patient Identification and Matching or Social Determinants of Health, two other important topics in the health information industry.

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