Information Blocking – What you need to know
The Information Blocking Rule Enforcement, effective September 1, 2023, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is just one example of regulatory acts taking place and driving toward data interoperability within the healthcare industry. In the simplest form, information blocking can be defined as blocking the ability to share health information. Regulations prohibiting information blocking improve transparency of health information, increase consumers’ access to health information. Furthermore, they create a more competitive healthcare environment that helps foster future innovation. This ensures that healthcare organizations will continue to have a selection of advancing technologies to aid in providing their consumers with the best possible experience while navigating their healthcare journeys.
Affecting developers of certified health IT, health information exchanges (HIE), and health information networks (HIN), the Information Blocking Rule Enforcement authorizes a penalty up to $1,000,000 per violation if confirmed information blocking exists. With this new rule making waves in the healthcare sector, we felt putting together a tool to help you navigate and support these changes would be worthwhile.
Healthcare organizations and their plans have an advantageous position in supporting the Information Blocking Rule since the penalties majorly affect their vendors. To assist you in selecting the right vendors that prioritize safe and secure sharing of consumer data, we have developed a comprehensive Information Blocking Rule checklist for you to review.
This checklist will aid in evaluating current or potential vendors for healthcare organizations, ensuring that your valuable consumer data remains accessible and secure while complying with the information blocking regulations. And why is this important?
Allowing data to be shared across trusted entities enables improved patient care and decreases:
We understand the important role vendors play in your organization’s success and employee workflows. By partnering with vendors aligned with these considerations, you can guarantee that your organization maintains data interoperability, security, and a commitment to providing exceptional healthcare experiences. Finding solutions that to eliminate data silos and provide comprehensive health views provides a large number of benefits. These ultimately lead to better population outcomes.
This checklist will also cover things on your end. Once that vendor is selected, you will need to meet certain standards to avoid information blocking. Sticking to this list will also ensure successful data sharing.
Important Things to Check Off When Selecting a Vendor for Your Healthcare Organization
- Integration: Check if the vendor integrates with existing systems to prevent data silos.
- Proactive Data Sharing: Partner with vendors who prioritize secure data sharing, and don’t treat it as an afterthought.
- Data Refinement: Ensure the vendor manages duplicates and unrefined data for increased accuracy and cleanliness.
- Privacy and Security: Verify the vendor’s data privacy and security protocols to ensure they meet the highest standards.
- Implementation Flexibility: Assess if the vendor can address your organization’s top priorities effectively and efficiently.
Check Yourself, to Protect Yourself: What to Keep in Mind On Your End Once the Vendor is Selected
- Develop an open, secure data strategy that allows data to be easily shared across various systems.
- Schedule regular internal audits to ensure consumer data is flowing to and from systems freely and accurately.
- Educate internal stakeholders and teams about your data strategy. Banning together as one team will help solve existing fragmentation.
- Prepare for the future by evaluating internal processes to ensure proper data governance by your organization.
Note: If your organization acts as a Health Information Exchange (HIE) or Health Information Network (HIN), you could be subject to penalties related to the Information Blocking Rule Enforcement. For more information please visit: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-07-03/pdf/2023-13851.pdf