Robert Kneschke -

AMA Publishes Physician Information Blocking Resource Center

The AMA published an online educational center to educate physicians on the recently published information blocking regulations.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has launched an array of online educational resources to help physicians understand and ultimately end the current information blocking practices that occur across the country. Resources may also aid in compliance with the ONC interoperability rule.

As of April 5, 2021, healthcare providers, certified health IT developers, and health information exchanges (HIEs) have needed to comply with the information blocking regulations.

“The AMA supports the Cures Act’s purposes to increase information sharing between patients and physicians, improve patient care, and ensure electronic health information follows patients,” Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, AMA Immediate Past Chair, said in a statement.

“However, the regulation is complex with dozens of exceptions, sub-exceptions, and conditions. Physicians can turn to the AMA resources for reliable help that explains what the new rule means for them and their medical practices.”

The AMA resource, Information Blocking Regulations: What to know and how to comply, has three main learning objectives:

  • Explain the new information blocking federal regulations
  • Identify which exceptions to leverage and when
  • Select top methods to comply with regulation and incorporate in practice

Once the physician completes the educational materials, she can take a quiz to assess her comprehension of the information blocking regulations.

AMA also wrote two information blocking resource guides. These intend to educate physicians on specific definitions, patient data access, and patient data exchange.

The first resource guide, What is information blocking?, defines information blocking, describes and outlines critical terms, outlines which practices are considered information blocking, and defines exceptions to the definition of information blocking

The second, How do I comply with info blocking and where do I start?, outlines a compliance roadmap about where to start, how to maintain a compliance program, and what to look for next.

To prepare and educate healthcare stakeholders for the information blocking regulations, AMA joined seven other top healthcare organizations, including College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), to deploy the Information Blocking Resource Center in February.

The Information Blocking Resource Center compiled articles, cheat sheets, documents, guides, ONC resources, regulatory overviews, webinars, and other forms in one place for its readers.

ONC is also doing its part to help organizations succeed with all phases of the interoperability rule, Micky Tripathi, PhD, MMP, national coordinator for health IT, said in a recent interview.

Tripathi likened ONC’s ultimate goal to pulling levers of information blocking, patient data exchange, and interoperability in unison at the correct time.

Tripathi wants healthcare stakeholders to look at the greater picture, with several compliance dates launching within the next 18 months.

“What I don't want is that those regulatory dates end up becoming the pace at which the industry progresses, because if we're going to wait 18 months for more robust FHIR-based capabilities, that's just not a good answer in a fast-moving space where you have business models and technology moving at the internet speed, as it were,” he explained.

Looking forward, Tripathi said ONC is working to educate healthcare stakeholders on the current and future regulations.

“Our policy team and our clinical team meet every week on a proactive basis with stakeholder groups, such as clinicians, providers, CEOs, and others to educate as much as we can, respond to questions that we get, and to take as many questions from them as we can to be able to make sure that we're being as responsible as possible for them,” Tripathi explained.

“It's just a coordinated effort across with using all of the tools that we have at hand.”

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