Hospital groups ask HHS to delay Oct. 6 start of new information blocking rules

Several hospital and medical associations are asking HHS to delay by a year the new information blocking rules that are scheduled to go into effect Oct. 6.

The new rules would expand the definition of electronic health information that providers are required to share with patients in a timely and affordable fashion as a way to improve healthcare data interoperability.

But, in the Sept. 26 letter, the hospital and physician groups say that many organizations — particularly smaller ones with fewer resources — are still unprepared for the changes, and that HHS needs to do more to educate the healthcare community and clarify what electronic health data must be shared. The groups also asked HHS to provide warnings prior to imposing fines or conducting formal investigations once the rules do go into effect.

The groups asking for the extension are America's Essential Hospitals, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Health Care Association, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Federation of American Hospitals, Medical Group Management Association, National Association for the Support of Long Term Care, and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

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