American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

CMS and ONC Release Proposed Rules to Advance Interoperability of Health Information

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released proposed rules to advance the interoperability of health information and other health information technology (HIT) initiatives.

The CMS proposed rule focuses on ways to make patient data more useful and transferrable through open, secure, standardized, and machine-readable formats while reducing restrictive burdens on providers. The proposed rule from the ONC is similar to CMS’ but also provides additional support for innovation and competition, recommending that patients and providers have secure access to health information and new tools.

Both rules support the adoption of standardized application programming interfaces (also known as APIs), increase patients’ ability to access their health information electronically, and implement information-blocking provisions. CMS and ONC both offer fact sheets summarizing the proposed rules. 

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