Apple, Microsoft among 30 organizations to sign letter backing HHS interoperability rules

A group of nearly 30 healthcare organizations and IT companies, including Apple, Microsoft and the American Medical Informatics Association, sent a letter today to HHS and the Office of Management and Budget urging officials to swiftly release the finalized version of HHS' interoperability rules.

In the letter, addressed to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and OMB Acting Director Russel Vought, the organizations request the administration finalize the rules without further delay. HHS' proposed regulations are currently under review by OMB and are expected to be finalized next month.

The rules, which were issued by CMS and ONC last year in support of the 21st Century Cures Act, would require the health IT industry to adopt application programming interfaces to help patients more easily access their health data. The regulations would also prevent healthcare organizations from using information blocking tactics.

"By finalizing the rules, the administration can provide patients, technology developers, and healthcare providers with clarity on API requirements so that these stakeholders can continue to work with government on private sector and policy solutions to increase the privacy and security of data exchange no matter where the data reside," the letter reads.

In addition to Apple, Microsoft and AMIA, nearly 30 other organizations signed the letter, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, Boston Children's Hospital, IBM, ATA for telehealth and PatientRightsAdvocate.org. 

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