HHS interoperability rules now in effect: 5 key compliance dates to know

HHS published its final health IT interoperability rules in the Federal Register, both taking effect June 30.

The two rules, issued by CMS and ONC, support the MyHeathEData Initiative and 21st Century Cures Act. HHS finalized the rules on March 9 and later delayed enforcement in April to allow providers to focus efforts on their COVID-19 pandemic response.

Five compliance dates to know:

1. CMS' Interoperability and Patient Access final rule requires CMS-regulated payers to implement and maintain an HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard API, referred to as the Patient Access API, by July 2021.

2. The Patient Access API allows patients to easily access their claims and encounter information via third-party apps of their choice; enforcement of CMS' API rules for Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program will begin in July 2021.

3. CMS will not begin enforcing new requirements under the Patient Access API for Qualified Health Plan issuers on the individual market Federally-Facilitated Exchanges until July 2021.

4. Compliance with ONC's information blocking rules is required by Nov. 2, 2020. Under the rules, health IT developers must not participate in any actions that constitute as information blocking, or activities that will interfere with access, exchange or use of electronic health information.

5. ONC's rule also requires certified API developers by Nov. 2 to ensure their API technology is compatible and can be accessed by patients without any preconditions or additional steps.

Click here to view CMS' final rule in the Federal Register.

Click here to view ONC's final rule in the Federal Register.

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