One of the biggest developments this year in the area of healthcare data privacy concerns information blocking. What is information blocking? Good question. Generally, it refers to a practice by a health IT developer of certified health IT, health information network, health information exchange, or health care provider that, except as required by law or specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a reasonable and necessary activity, is likely to interfere with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI).
In March, HHS finalized two transformative rules with the purpose of providing patients unprecedented safe, secure access to their health data. In conjunction with this effort, HHS identified eight categories of reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking, provided certain conditions are met.
Well, like the rest of this year, COVID has complicated things. In a significant shift impacting all developers of certified Health IT and health care providers, HHS, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) announced an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (“IFC”) delaying compliance dates and timeframes for information blocking and the health IT certification program. Read CPW’s Kristin Bryan’s and Elliot Golding’s analysis below.