ONC extends Information Blocking compliance deadlines

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On October 29, 2020, the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) that extended certain compliance dates and timeframes adopted in the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program Final Rule (ONC Cures Act Final Rule).

Importantly, this includes extension of the compliance dates for the Information Blocking provisions that were set to go into effect November 2, 2020. The table provided by the ONC that details the extensions is accessible here and copied below.

Provision

Final Rule

Enforcement Discretion Announcement

Interim Final Rule with Comment Period

Information Blocking Overall Applicability Date – (45 CFR part 171)3

November 2, 2020

N/A – No Change

April 5, 2021

Condition of Certification (CoC) Information Blocking – (§ 170.401)

November 2, 2020

3 months after the
compliance timeframe

CoC Assurances – (§ 170.402(a)(1)) – Will not take any

action that constitutes information

blocking or actions that inhibit access,

exchange, and use of
electronic health
information (EHI)

November 2, 2020

3 months after the
compliance timeframe

CoC Assurances – (§ 170.402(a)(2) and (3), and (b)(1)) – Other

Effective date:
June 30, 2020

Enforcement discretion
expired 3 months after the
effective date of the final
rule

CoC Communications – (§ 170.403) – Communications requirements, except for § 170.403(b)(1) where we removed the notice requirement for 2020

Effective date:
June 1, 2020

Enforcement discretion
expired 3 months after the
effective date of the final
rule

 

CoC API – (§ 170.404(b)(4)) – Compliance for current API criteria

November 2, 2020

3 months after the
compliance timeframe

CoC API – (§ 170.404(b)(3)) – Rollout of new standardized API functionality

May 2, 2022

3 months after the
compliance timeframe

December 31, 2022

CoC Real World Testing – 2015 Edition health IT certification criteria with standards updates

May 2, 2022

3 months after the
compliance timeframe

CoC Assurances – (§ 170.402(a)(4) and (b)(2)) – EHI Export Rollout

May 1, 2023

3 months after the
compliance timeframe

December 31, 2023

CoC Communications – (§ 170.403(b)(1)) – Notice to all customers with which developer has contracts or agreements containing provisions that contravene Communications CoC

Annually beginning
in calendar
year 2020

Notice can be made until
March 31, 2021, for the
2020
calendar year

Begin annual cycle 1 year later

CY 2021

CoC Initial Attestations – (§ 170.406)

April 1-30, 2021
attestation window
for attestation period
running June 30,
2020, through March 1, 2021

Generally remains the same
except for the initial
attestation, which will now
be accepted through July 30, 2021

Begin annual cycle 1 year later

CY 2022

CoC Real World Testing – (§ 170.405(b)(1) and (2)) Submit initial plan and initial results submission

Plan: December 15, 2020

Results: March 15, 2022

Initial Plan: Initial RWT plans (i.e., 2021 RWT plans) may be submitted through March 15, 2021

Initial Results: Initial RWT results from the 2021 performance year may be

Begin annual cycle 1 year later

Initial Plan: December 15, 2021

Initial Results:
March 15, 2023

 

3 Note that for the Content and Manner Exception, in § 171.301(a), for the period before October 6, 2022, the definition of EHI is limited to, at a minimum, the data elements represented in the USCDI standard; and, for the period on and after Oct 6, 2022, EHI is defined as it is in § 171.102. These dates reflect the extension from May 2, 2022, which was the compliance date included in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule. These dates are discussed in more detail in section II.A.1.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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