Information Blocking Rules

Information Blocking Rules: What’s USCDI Have To Do With It?

Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of every important resource, reference, and article. With all the buzz about the Information Blocking Rules, we’re here to make things a little easier.

What is Information Blocking?

There’s a broad spectrum of things that amount to “info blocking,” but in a nutshell, information blocking is when patients can’t get a copy of or access to their medical records when they request them, with some exceptions. From medical records requests being flat out ignored, to patients being told they must come to pick up their records in-person, to patients being charged high fees for requesting their medical records, these are all examples of information blocking.

Doctors may also experience information blocking, for example, when they, too, are trying to access their patients’ records from other care providers.

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Cures Act Final Rule implements the interoperability provisions of the Cures Act to support patient control over their own health information.

April 5, 2021, was the Information Blocking Rules effective date, when all health care providers, certified health IT developers, and health information exchanges (HIEs) must fall in line with the regulations and share the data classes and elements designated by the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) set. This isn’t going to be an instant opening of the faucet where all patient data is readily available. For the next 18 months, the focus will be on a subset of patient data, as defined currently by USCDI (version 1) standard. By October 2022, the full scope of the Information Blocking Rules regulations is anticipated to go into effect as per this timeline of dates.

What on Earth is USCDI?

For more information on USCDI, start with the United States Core Data for Interoperability Fact Sheet and then head over to the main USCDI website. Intrigued and want to learn more? Dial into one of the USCDI Task Force meetings on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 am to 12 pm EST.

A list of the 2021 USCDI Task Force membership may be found here. (If you look closely, you’ll find one of Unblock Health’s co-founders on the list!)

For any additional questions, refer to ONC’s Information Blocking FAQs resource which is being continuously updated with content. Or continue to follow along with us at Unblock Health!

Yours In Unblocking Health,

Shahid Shah & Grace Cordovano

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