Information Blocking And The 21st Century Cures Act

Information blocking is “a practice by a health IT developer of certified health IT, health information network, health information exchange, or health care provider that, except as required by law or specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a reasonable and necessary activity, is likely to interfere with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI).”


The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), signed into law on December 13, 2016, helps accelerate medical product development and bring new innovations and advances to patients who need them quickly and efficiently. The main goal is to streamline the drug and device approval process and bring treatments to market faster.

The Cures Act prioritizes patient choice related to requests for electronic health information (EHI).


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Cures Act Final Rule, released on March 9, 2020, gives patients, their providers, and their choice of third-party health apps access to clinic data via application programming interfaces APIs). Its main purpose is to implement advance interoperability and support the access, exchange and use of EHI.

ONC also warns that information provided to the patient about the privacy or security of the app must focus on any current privacy and/or security risks posed by the technology, be factually accurate, and be provided in a non-discriminatory manner. Protecting data privacy is imperative.

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During a global pandemic, it’s more critical than ever to be able to locate and access clinical records as fast as possible. The completeness and accuracy of the data is crucial to get control over the coronavirus.

All health information in the electronic health record must be available to the patient. Putting patients in charge of their health records is a significant part of patient control in health care that leads to transparency in regards to the cost and outcomes of their care.

The ability to share data through a secure platform is an essential part of an efficient health care system. The key to the whole process is accurate data to optimize patient care.

Compliance with HIPAA and the California Consumer Privacy Act to make the data available must also be taken into consideration. Providers and payer organizations need to evaluate their technologies and procedures to ensure compliance. Inventory policies and procedures for updates may be needed and privacy and security measures may need to be restructured.


With the complexity of the rules and the many elements to be considered it is imperative to work with experts to ensure adequate preparation. Accurate data is essential for all health care decisions.

Primeau Consulting Group has developed its Information Governance (IG) Assessment and Consulting Services to help healthcare organizations prepare by assessing data and information, identifying sensitive information assets and developing a governance program to align with strategic goals.

The IG Assessment is powered by its partnership with CompliancePro Solutions™.


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