October 29, 2020
ONC Issues Interim Final Rule, Delays Features of CURES Act Implementation
On October 29, 2020, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) pushed a compliance deadline for hospitals, groups, and vendors to implement information blocking provisions from November 2, 2020 to April 5, 2021. In a conference call with healthcare stakeholders, ONC officials indicated the rule “gives health IT developers and health care providers flexibilities to effectively respond to the public health threats posed by the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”
The original deadlines for information blocking were issued by ONC in March 2020.
Prohibitions against information blocking was a significant provision within the 21st Century Cures Act. Information blocking is generally known as when an entity knows or should know that a particular practice is unreasonable and likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage access, exchange, or use of electronic health information. Information blocking applies to health care providers (hospitals, physicians, clinicians), health IT developers, and health information exchanges and networks (HIEs and HINs). Penalties of up to $1 million per violation exist for developers and HIE/HINs. Most anesthesiologists should work with their hospital or facility administrations as well as healthIT vendors to ensure they will be able to comply with these provisions by April 2021.
The Interim Final Rule includes provisions for:
- Extending the applicability date for the Information Blocking provisions.
- Extending the compliance dates in the ONC Health IT Certification Program (Program), including certain 2015 Edition health IT certification criteria and Conditions and Maintenance of Certification requirements.
- Making changes to the Program by updating standards and clarifying regulatory text for specific certification criteria.
For more information, please contact the ASA Department of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.