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New Resources for ONC Cures Act Final Rule Released as First Compliance Date Nears

Analysis  |  By Scott Mace  
   January 13, 2021

Guide to key dates, reference documents, and API Resource Guide released ahead of April 5 deadline.

As the April 5 deadline approaches for implementation of the information blocking, Application Programming Interfaces (API) condition and maintenance certification, and other provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is offering additional resources to providers.

In a January 4 blog post, Rob Anthony, director of the certification and testing division in ONC's Office of Technology, described the new resources, including key dates, an application program interfaces (API) deep dive guide, and other reference materials.

The new resources augment the ONC's growing library of educational materials and explanations for health IT developers, Anthony said.

The 21st Century Cures Act: Information Blocking, Interoperability, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program Final Rule, known for short as the ONC Cures Act Final Rule, was issued in March 2020, and the deadlines were extended last October.  A major goal is to provide all U.S. patients with fingertip access to their medical information on their smartphones.

The new resources include:

  • The 2015 Edition Cures Update Key Dates assembles all important dates so health IT developers can not only track these dates, but also understand the various requirements they must meet.
  • Changes made to the 2015 Edition Certification Criteria are documented in the Cert Notes: 2015 Edition Cures Update Reference. This resource helps developers comprehend changes to specific certification criteria under the new rule.
  • For developers seeking ONC certification on any of ONC's API certification criteria, or compliance with API Conditions or Maintenance of Certification requirements, ONC now provides its latest Application Programming Interfaces Resource Guide. The new guide includes ONC clarifications from the ONC Cures Act Final Rule preamble.

"We hope the health IT developer community finds these useful as important compliance dates approach," Anthony wrote in the blog post.

Last October, other 2015 edition health IT certification criteria and conditions and maintenance of certification requirements were extended to December 31, 2022.

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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