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ONC and CMS Release Proposed Interoperability Rules

On February, 11, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued proposed rules to “support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information.”
The ONC proposed rule implements the information blocking provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, including defining “reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking,” and modifies the 2015 certification criteria under the ONC Health IT Certification Program to support interoperability and reduce regulatory burden. The proposed rule also asks for comments on pricing information that could be included as part of electronic health information.
The CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule introduces new policies intended to “make patient data more useful and transferable through open, secure, standardized, and machine-readable formats while reducing restrictive burdens on healthcare providers.” Proposed policy changes include requiring proposing to require certain federally-funded plans to make their provider networks available to enrollees and prospective enrollees through API technology, requiring support for the electronic exchange of data for transitions of care when patients change plans, requiring participation in trust networks to improve interoperability, and publicly disclosing when a provider has submitted a “no” response to any of the three attestation statements regarding the prevention of information blocking. CMS also announced two Requests for Information (RFIs) regarding interoperability and health information technology (health IT) adoption in Post-Acute Care (PAC) settings and the role of patient matching in interoperability and improved patient care. 
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