In an effort to offer further aid to a well being care system strained by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Workplace of the Nationwide Coordinator for Well being IT (“ONC”) launched an Interim Last Rule with Remark Interval (“IFC”) on October 29, 2020 that extends the compliance dates beneath the 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability, Info Blocking, and ONC Well being IT Certification Program Last Rule (the “Last Rule”) and presents some technical corrections and clarifications.
Of specific curiosity to well being care suppliers, well being IT builders and well being data networks and exchanges, the IFC extends for 5 months (from November 2, 2020 to April 5, 2020) the deadline to adjust to the Last Rule’s data blocking provisions. The Last Rule additionally extends the compliance timeframes to satisfy the up to date 2015 Version Well being IT certification standards, and the Circumstances and Upkeep of Certification necessities beneath ONC’s Well being IT Certification Program.
ONC first responded to considerations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 by exercising its enforcement discretion and offering three months after every preliminary date or timeline for all new necessities beneath the ONC Well being IT Certification Program. Not like ONC’s prior enforcement discretion, the IFC codifies new compliance dates in federal laws.
ONC clarified within the IFC that it “ just isn’t eradicating the necessities advancing affected person entry to their well being data which can be outlined within the Last Rule” Slightly, it’s “offering further time to permit everybody within the well being care ecosystem to deal with COVID-19 response.”
Actors which can be topic to the Info Blocking and different necessities beneath the 21st Century Cures Act, together with well being care suppliers, IT builders and well being data exchanges / well being data networks, ought to view this extension as a boon. Many actors have scrambled to get into compliance by the previous November 2nd deadline however nonetheless had gaps of their packages and efforts. If actors transfer rapidly now, they are going to be capable of additional construct out and cement their compliance earlier than the April 5, 2020 dates and considerably scale back their compliance threat.
Here’s a abstract of the brand new Last Rule compliance timeline.
This text just isn’t an unequivocal assertion of the legislation, however as an alternative represents our greatest interpretation of the place issues presently stand. This text doesn’t deal with the potential impacts of the quite a few different native, state and federal orders which were issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, however which aren’t referenced on this article.
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