The 21st Century Cures Act is a bipartisan health care law that promotes innovation in the health care technology ecosystem to deliver better information, more conveniently, to patients and clinicians. It also promotes transparency, using technology, to provide opportunities for the public to gain visibility in the services, quality, and costs of health care.
It includes requirements that promote health information interoperability and prohibit information blocking by health information networks, HIEs, technology developers of certified health IT, physicians and other health care providers.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a final rule, 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program in May 2020.
ONC's Cures Act Final Rule
CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule
EHI is defined as the electronic protected health information (ePHI) in a designated record set (as defined in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations) regardless of whether the records are used or maintained by or for a covered entity.
The information blocking provisions require that patients and their physicians be given immediate electronic access to significant portions of the patient’s EHI upon request, unless an exception applies. This includes the information detailed in the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) version 1 data set and does include clinical notes and specifies eight note types:
The requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act only applies to electronic patient health information. If you are using paper records, it will not apply to you. There is no mandate for you to move to an EHR.
The simple answer is yes but read the details in the following member resources.
TMA’s Comments to the ONC on the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program (June 3, 2019)
AMA Summary of ONC Final Rule on Electronic Health Information Blocking, Interoperability and the Cert Program
Got technology questions? Contact the HIT Helpline.
Tell Us Your Information Blocking Hassles
As of April 5, 2021, physicians are prohibited from engaging in information blocking of certain electronic health information (EHI). Learn about the specifics in this TMA white paper.
Download the White Paper
This webinar provides an overview of the rules’ information-blocking provisions and application programming interface requirements. It also looks at the impact on electronic health record interoperability and the way data are exchanged between patients, physicians, payers, technology developers, and other health care stakeholders. It's free for members!
View the Webinar
In this webinar, a physician panel and speakers from the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services discuss the release of EHI to patients and exceptions to the new law’s information-blocking provisions. It's free for members!
This CME to Go answers frequently asked questions about the 21st Century Cures Act and how the act affects physician practices. It's free for members!
Listen to the Podcast
Learn about the new Information Blocking Rule that went into effect on April 5, 2021. This rule will play a key role in reducing overall payer and provider burden and improving patient access to health information. This is a recorded webinar by the Texas Medical Liability Trust (TMLT).
View the TMLT Webinar