On April 19, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a 30-day extension, until June 3, 2019, to the comment period for two rules proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).

The CMS proposed rule aims to increase patient access to their personal electronic health information. The rule proposes new requirements for federal government payors, such as requiring the adoption of application programming interfaces (APIs) to better enable the transfer of electronic health information between health networks. The CMS rule also proposes requirements for providers, such as affirmative attestations that they are not engaging in information blocking activities and publicly disclosing those providers who fail to attest in the affirmative.

The ONC proposed rule focuses on technical changes to increase interoperability between disparate systems. Among the ONC rule’s proposals are standardized criteria for API development and seven exceptions to the prohibition against information blocking.

Additional information about these proposed rules can be found in Covington Digital Health’s March 7, 2019 blog post, as well as our April 25, 2019 blog post.