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March 23, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued on March 9 related final rules on improving individuals’ access to their complete health data and facilitating interoperability between healthcare providers and payers. The final rules implement provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act and support the Administration’s MyHealthEData initiative.

The Council supported certain features of the proposed rules, which have now been incorporated into the final rules, including:

  • Improving interoperability between providers via standardization of technology, content and vocabulary requirements;
  • Allowing healthcare data to “follow” the patient to whom it applies through use of common technologies;
  • Clarifying that the data available to, and shareable by, patients must be complete health data (e.g., claims data, cost-sharing obligations, drug benefits information; and robust clinical data covered by the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability standard);
  • Requiring timely disclosure of data so that health records are updated on a more real-time basis; and
  • Deterring information blocking by providers and their health IT vendors.

Due to COVID-19, the effective date for the final rules is unclear. The CMS final rule can be found here and the ONC final rule here.