New HHS rules will give 125 million patients easier access to EHRs, Senate health chair says

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The Senate's health committee held a hearing March 26 to discuss two recent rule proposals for EHRs as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.

The two rules define information blocking, so it is clear when one health system is purposely not sharing information with another one. The other rule would give patients more control over their health records.

Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., expressed full support of both rules.

"Having electronic health records that talk to one another — we call that interoperability — is one way to reduce what we spend on administrative tasks and unnecessary care," Mr. Alexander said at the hearing.

He estimated that the new rules would give more than 125 million patients easier access to their EHRs.

"This will be a huge relief to any of us who have spent hours tracking down paper copies of our records and carting them back and forth to different doctors' offices," he said. "The rules will reduce administrative burden on [physicians] so they can spend more time with patients."

To read the chairman's full remarks, click here.

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