June 03, 2019
ASA Responds to Interoperability and Data Blocking Proposed Rules; Encourages Greater Role for Physician Anesthesiologists
On June 3, 2019, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) formally requested the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to pursue a policy of greater inclusion and consideration of physician anesthesiologists in federal decision-making regarding interoperability, information blocking and patient access to medical records. The request came in response to several sweeping proposals released by CMS and ONC earlier this year.
Physician anesthesiologist participation in interoperability initiatives and data sharing has often been limited by delayed implementation at local facilities and lack of access to clinical data housed by hospitals, payers and others that could lead many departments to a greater understanding of patient outcomes with regard to anesthesia care. ASA also encouraged CMS and ONC to assess these rules in relation to burden reduction objectives, including both regulatory and workflow burdens that electronic health records (EHRs) and health IT have placed on physician anesthesiologists and pain medicine physicians.
The CMS proposed rule
, focused primarily on encouraging cooperation and data sharing between payers, hospitals, physicians and other stakeholders. ASA is encouraged by the proposed rule aimed at allowing patients greater access to their medical records but expressed concern about the labyrinth of regulations physician anesthesiologists and their departments would need to navigate. Such regulatory questions included patient privacy, the expansion of application programming interfaces (APIs) and public posting of physician compliance with anti-information blocking regulations.
Complementary to the CMS rule, the ONC proposed rule
focused on establishing and updating common data sets to facilitate data exchange, requirements for certified health IT vendors and efforts to limit information blocking. Among a significant number of proposals, ASA expressed support for regulators and vendors to use the United States Core Data for Interoperability Standard (USCDI) and encouraged ONC to incorporate anesthesia elements and notes in future versions. ASA likewise supported ONC’s proposals to enhance access to and functionality of prescription drug monitoring programs within EHRs.
Read ASA’s response to the CMS Proposed Rule
Read ASA’s response to the ONC Proposed Rule
Contact ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at [email protected]
for more information.