AHA and other organizations representing the nation’s clinicians, hospitals, health systems and experts in health informatics and health information management today urged the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to allow for at least one year of extended enforcement discretion for its information blocking rule. 

“We write to express our steadfast commitment to furthering patient access to their medical records via apps, leveraging application programming interfaces (APIs), enhancing clinician and providers’ access to data within their workflow, and securely sharing medical information electronically so patients and clinicians make informed treatment decisions,” the coalition wrote. “… However, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to monopolize our members’ time and attention, and has strained resources, drastically limiting our members’ ability to prepare for the November 2nd information blocking deadline.”

The coalition also urged the agency to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and HHS Office of Inspector General to harmonize any extension of compliance deadlines associated with information blocking and certification with hospital and clinicians’ information blocking attestation responsibilities under the Hospital Promoting Interoperability program and for clinicians under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System.

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