April 13, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Health Information Technology
In May 2020, the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) published the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule, usually referred to as the “Information Blocking Rule.” After a delay related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rule took effect on April 5, 2021. The rule seeks to promote the free flow of patient data, including empowering patients to have access to their own information.
While the Information Blocking Rule holds many benefits for patients and physicians, it raises some specific considerations for pediatric practices. Those practices may hold confidential data related to, for example, teen reproductive health, sensitive family situations, or adolescent mental health treatment. The rule, however, allows for physicians to keep this information confidential, provided that practices take the proper steps to implement their compliance efforts.
The California Medical Association (CMA) has published a fact sheet (available to CMA members only) – Information Blocking Rule: Basics and Considerations for Pediatric Practices – intended to help pediatricians understand the Information Blocking Rule, and how they can best interact with their patients and their families.