EHNAC’s Executive Director Comments on Finalization of Health and Human Services Rules on Interoperability and Data Blocking Regulations

FARMINGTON, Conn. – March 9, 2020 – Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the finalization of two rules on Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program as mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act. Lee Barrett, executive director and CEO of the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC), and member of the HHS Cybersecurity Task Force 405(d),  the Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council Cybersecurity Working Group and the ONC FAST Tiger Team initiative, issued the following insights on the finalized rules and their implications on providers, insurers and patients:

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has finalized two transformative rules that provides patients with unprecedented safe, secure access to their health data. Complete interoperability in healthcare remains a significant challenge and opportunity to address throughout the ecosystem and the implementation of these rules take us another step closer to providing patients true access to their healthcare data to make informed healthcare decisions and better manage their care. Placing patients in charge of their health records is a critical foundational element of giving patients more control of their healthcare. These new provisions set forth by ONC and CMS not only benefit patients who will be better informed about the care they receive but will provide caregivers with access to a patient’s healthcare information using API’s to assist in managing their care.

“EHNAC applauds the announcement of these new rules and continues to support the implementation of 21st Century Cures Act provisions, including TEFCA, with our accreditation programs. These programs are focused on protecting and assuring all stakeholders maintain the privacy, security, business, as well as technical, operational aspects to address the continued evolution of healthcare and deliver the infrastructure that provides patients with accessibility and control of their information.”

Last year, EHNAC, along with a coalition of multi-disciplinary industry stakeholders, established the Trusted Network Accreditation Program (TNAP) which seeks to align with the 21st Century Cures Act as well as Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).

For more information along with resources from CMS and ONC on the final rules, visit https://www.healthit.gov/curesrule/ and https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/interoperability-and-patient-access-fact-sheet.

About EHNAC
The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission (EHNAC) is a voluntary, self-governing standards development organization (SDO) established to develop standard criteria and accredit organizations that electronically exchange healthcare data. These entities include accountable care organizations, data registries, electronic health networks, EPCS vendors, e-prescribing solution providers, financial services firms, health information exchanges, health information service providers, management service organizations, medical billers, outsourced service providers, payers, practice management system vendors and third-party administrators. The Commission is an authorized HITRUST CSF Assessor, making it the only organization with the ability to provide both EHNAC accreditation and HITRUST CSF certification.

EHNAC was founded in 1993 and is a tax-exempt 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. Guided by peer evaluation, the EHNAC accreditation process promotes quality service, innovation, cooperation and open competition in healthcare. To learn more, visit www.ehnac.org, contact info@ehnac.org, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

###