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Top Healthcare Orgs Launch Information Blocking Resource Center

A group of healthcare organizations published the Information Blocking Resource Center to educate stakeholders for the upcoming information blocking compliance dates.

Eight top healthcare organizations have joined forces to launch the Information Blocking Resource Center to prepare and educate stakeholders for the upcoming information blocking compliance dates as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

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.

The resource center is free and open to the public. It lists each resource under nine separate categories:

  • Federal resources
  • Information blocking actors
  • Information blocking and COVID-19
  • Information blocking and mental health/substance abuse
  • Information blocking compliance
  • Information blocking education
  • Information blocking exceptions
  • Information blocking overview
  • Patient resources  

Resource center participants include the American College of Physicians (ACP), American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), American Medical Association (AMA), American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and Premier Inc.

The final interoperability rule prohibits information blocking and aims to hold health IT developers, such as EHR vendors, accountable as a condition of certification.

In the fall, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the ONC provided health organizations further flexibility and time to appropriately respond to the spread of COVID-19 by extending the ONC final interoperability rule's compliance deadlines.

The information blocking provisions and requirements compliance date, along with the API conditions and maintenance of certification, are now scheduled for April 5, 2021.

The real-world testing condition and maintenance certification initial plans are go-live on December 15, 2021.

The 2015 edition health IT certification criteria updates and the new standardized API functionalities are now required by December 31, 2022.

With the compliance dates on the horizon, ONC developed an updated list of resources in January to help health IT developers comply with the interoperability rule,

ONC’s resource list included key dates, a summary of changes to the 2015 Edition Certification Criteria, and an application programming interfaces (API) resource guide.

The 2015 Edition Cures Update Key Dates compiled all of the key dates to help health IT developers and professionals understand the specific requirements to meet compliance. While there are several compliance dates, the first resource laid out precise details of each date with additional links to further information.

The Cert Notes: 2015 Edition Cures Update Reference document summarized the changes made to the 2015 Edition Certification Criteria requirements as outlined in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule, which includes Information Blocking, Interoperability, and the Interim Final Rule (IFR), Information Blocking and the ONC Health IT Certification Program: Extension of Compliance Dates and Timeframes in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

The document gave a revised view of linked references, revisions to criterion, deadlines, actions to be taken, and additional dependencies for the 2015 Edition Cures Update. Health IT developers can utilize this resource to understand specific sets of guidelines and criteria to earn 2015 Edition Cures Update certification for their respective health IT sectors.

The API Resource Guide aims to help health IT developers meet ONC accreditation through API certification criteria or compliance through API Conditions or Maintenance of Certification requirements.

While ONC developed this reference to provide a detailed overview of the recent changes, ONC said it should not be used as a comprehensive reference document. Not all health IT modules are certified to all criteria in the document.

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