The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed a new rule to support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI).
The proposed rule is designed to increase innovation and competition by giving patients and their healthcare providers secure access to health information and new tools, allowing for more choice in care and treatment. It calls on the healthcare industry to adopt standardized application programming interfaces (APIs), which will help allow individuals to securely and easily access structured EHI using smartphone applications.
The proposed rule places a strong focus on a patient's ability to access their health information through a provision requiring that patients can electronically access all of their EHI (structured and/or unstructured) at no cost. Finally, to further support access and exchange of EHI, the proposed rule implements the information blocking provisions of the Cures Act. The rule proposes seven exceptions to the definition of information blocking.
The public comment period is now closed for the proposed rule. Thank you to those who submitted feedback – both positive and negative as it helps inform the rulemaking process.