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Panicking Over Information Blocking Rules? The Sequoia Project Can Help

Analysis  |  By Scott Mace  
   September 22, 2022

Good practices, infographics, and policy considerations are highlights of new resources offered by the non-profit advocate for health information exchange.

With the information blocking requirements of the 21st Century Cures rule set to begin taking effect on October 6, the Sequoia Project has released a set of resources to help with compliance.

The non-profit group posted Information Blocking Compliance Workgroup Resources this week after seeking feedback from the public on draft versions.

As recently as August, a coalition of health systems and related healthcare IT professional associations asked the Department of Health and Human Services to provide more support for the impending regulations. They asked for best practices, a frequently-asked questions online resource, and a toll-free support line or interactive online chat to answer the questions of regulated entities.

Starting October 6,  healthcare organizations will be expected to avoid interfering with access, exchange, or use of the full scope of electronic health information (EHI), except when applicable law mandates the interference or an information blocking exception is met. Between April 5, 2021, and October 6, 2022, the scope for information blocking was USCDI v1.

While additional resources may be forthcoming from HHS, the Sequoia Project resources may help fill some of those immediate needs. They include:

  • Good practices for information-sharing and information-blocking compliance;
  • A further exploration of the expanded definition of electronic health information (EHI) and related considerations;
  • An infographic depicting the web of information systems included in the expanded definition of EHI;
  • Operational implications of the move to an expanded definition; and
  • Policy considerations.

"The Sequoia Project is grateful to the public for taking the time to provide feedback on these documents, as well as to the members of the IBWG [Information Blocking Compliance Workgroup] and our subject matter experts whose collaboration and dedication was integral to the development of these resources," Mariann Yeager, chief executive officer of The Sequoia Project, said in a press release. "We look forward to continuing to work to advance interoperability and build a community of practice around this critical topic."

The Sequoia Project is the recognized coordinating entity for the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), an initiative of HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, designed to facilitate interoperability between health systems and other entities it regulates.

Scott Mace is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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