In March 2020, both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) came out with final rules pushing for more interoperability in patient health data. While the CMS rule–The Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule–is focused on patient access and control over their health data, the ONC rule–21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT–focuses on changing the health information technology and application programming interfaces that will allow patients or other appropriate parties to access the health information. Both of these rules are working to improve the accessibility and interoperability of electronic health information while maintaining and improving necessary security measures over patient information. These rules will give patients more control over their medical information, improve communication between necessary parties in a patient’s health timeline, and promote accountability and transparency.
The ONC rule is focused on the technology aspect that can provide access to a patient’s health information. ONC is pushing for innovation in our technology, hoping to deliver “transparency into the cost and outcomes of their care, competitive options in getting medical care, modern smartphone apps to provide them convenient access to their records, and an app economy that provides patients, physicians, hospitals, payers, and employers with innovation and choice.” These objectives all strive for the tech industry to provide transparent information and access for the patient, a more coordinated health care system for providers and hospitals, and a new competitive market for the health IT industry.
- For the patients, ONC wants them to be able to access their records for free and electronically, have their records be protected, and get transparent information about care and costs to improve their decisions.
- For providers, ONC wants technology that can help providers provide patients the access of their health records on any application of the patient’s choice and prohibits information blocking.
- For health IT developers, ONC has established the API Conditions of Certification, requiring developers to update to their technology and adhere to certain standards of privacy and uniformity. These changes will benefit all three sectors with the priority being patient empowerment over their information.
Interoperability, patient-centered care, and transparency has always been core values of Repisodic. As there is more access of data for the patients and providers, the transition from hospital to post-acute care can be streamlined. Our discharge solution, Repisodic Choice, empowers the patients to choose the facility that best fits their needs. By helping case managers walk the patients through the discharge process and create a customizable list, Repisodic aims to ease the discharge process, while keeping the care patient-centered. Our goal of having every patient receive the care and recovery they deserve works in tandem with the barriers that the rules are trying to break down, regarding more transparency, better access, and more accountability.
To read more about this rule, click here.