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Glossary Terms

What is Information Blocking?

Glossary

Information blocking is a practice or policy that interferes with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI). The Cures Act includes a provision called the Information Blocking Rule, which prevents health care providers and electronic health record (EHR) vendors from blocking access to EHI in most cases. 

How Does Information Blocking Affect Practices? 

Information blocking by medical practices, EHR vendors, and other health care actors can make it difficult to coordinate care. By embracing data sharing and interoperability, your practice can reduce duplicative testing and improve the quality of care. Approaches that block the flow of EHI can also prevent patients from accessing their health information promptly, potentially delaying care or reducing adherence to treatment plans. The Information Blocking Rule encourages data sharing and interoperability to improve health.   Many practices may have policies that could violate the Information Blocking Rule. For example, policies preventing the release of test and lab results to patient portals before physician sign-off may constitute information blocking. If you're unsure about your practice's policies, the experts at TempDev can help.

What Are the Exceptions to the Information Blocking Rule?

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has defined eight exceptions to the Information Blocking Rule. These exceptions allow your practice to:

  • Protect privacy
  • Prevent harm
  • Comply with security recommendations
  • Maintain health IT performance
  • Reject infeasible requests
  • Charge reasonable fees
  • License interoperability elements

Your practice may also limit responses to only the content specified in the Information Blocking Rule. You may also provide data in a different manner than requested, provided you meet certain conditions. 

How TempDev Can Help You Comply with The Cures Act

TempDev's team of NextGen experts and consultants stays on top of regulatory changes and stands ready to help you comply. TempDev can review your EHR system and policies to ensure your practice is not engaged in information blocking. Whether you need NextGen customization, training, or workflow redesign to improve your interoperability practices, TempDev can help. Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us for help with the Information Blocking Rule and complying with The Cures Act.   

Related terms:

Cures ActKnow more
Health Information Exchange (HIE)Know more
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