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How Do the New EHI Definition and Information Blocking Provisions Impact Your Organization?

By Andrew Tomlinson

Director of Regulatory Affairs at AHIMA

 

At the beginning of August, the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and the Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA) released a final report that examines key issues related to operationalizing the definitions of “electronic health information” (EHI) and “designated record set” (DRS). The report helps impacted actors, such as providers, health IT systems, health information networks, and others, understand how best to comply with the information blocking provisions of the Cures Act Final Rule.

More specifically, the report helps those impacted to understand the change in the definition of EHI within this rule, which takes effect October 6, 2022. By that date, actors are expected to adhere to the full scope of EHI per the rule, or else risk information blocking noncompliance. The change broadens the scope of what data must be exchanged as the result of a valid request from the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI v1) to all ePHI included as part of the DRS.

How does this October 6 change impact your organizational policies? There’s a lot to unpack. The good news is that AHIMA22 attendees have the chance to hear directly from the policymakers, influencers, and AHIMA members working firsthand to implement information blocking and its related provisions, such as EHI. The panel session, moderated by the AHIMA Policy and Government Affairs team, will be held in the afternoon on Monday, October 10.

Attendees will hear from US Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG’s) Allison Viola (invited), information blocking expert Chantal Worzala, Alazro Consulting, and AHIMA member Roberta Baranda, Valley Children’s Hospital, as part of a moderated discussion on the state of information blocking. The panel will tackle questions related to how OIG’s 2020 proposed rule sets the table for enforcement, released guidance from HHS and other organizations thus far, and the impact of information blocking on day-to-day operations—including how the October 6 EHI definition change has impacted health information professionals directly.

While providers prepare for October 6 and the expansion of EHI, it is important for them to remember that the shift doesn’t just broaden the scope of what data needs to be exchanged. Instead, the shift broadens the scope of information blocking policy as a whole. This Monday afternoon AHIMA22 session will walk attendees through the ever-shifting regulatory landscape. If you want to learn more about leveraging the EHI final report and applying it to information blocking, then this session is not one to miss.

Health IT is changing every day. Everyday conversations health information professionals have at work are helping to shape what tomorrow’s healthcare will look like. To ensure we are ready to answer the call of the challenges on the horizon, we need to ensure our understanding of what governing regulatory policies say today. We look forward to taking those steps together with you at AHIMA22 and beyond.

 

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