A new federal regulation is going to begin being enforced on April 5th, called the Information Blocking Rule. The compliance deadline for this rule was pushed back from an original enforcement date of Nov. 2020. As of that date, all covered by the rule – healthcare providers, EHR vendors, and health exchanges – are required to comply with the Information Blocking Rule. Information blocking generally means denying immediate access to patient records upon a patient’s request or by an authorized physician. An EHR company that may be holding records must make them immediately available as well.
The Information Blocking Rule is intended to promote (and requires) interoperability/inter-access between and amongst healthcare providers and patients. Essentially, patients should not experience information blocking when seeking to obtain their patient health information/treatment results; providers must communicate with one another and with the patient when information is requested.
Healthcare Providers – such as FCA’s members – should ensure they are working with EHR vendors that are aware of the Information Blocking Rule’s requirements and otherwise are complying with the rule themselves. Provider’s policy and procedure manuals regarding compliance with HIPAA and patient access to information should be updated accordingly to reflect how the office responds to patient request for information.
Watch for more FCA updates about the new rule and an updated HIPAA Compliance Manual that FCA members can download for free. Access helpful AMA-published articles (Part One and Part Two) here. Our thanks to Michael Silverman of the Florida Healthcare Law Firm for providing the helpful summary information above.