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SHARE is Prepared to Help Hospital Systems Comply with CMS, ONC Final Interoperability Rule

Fri, 09/11/2020 - 13:11 -- Whitney Mayo

So, what is interoperability and why is it important in Healthcare? “Interoperability” is the ability for Healthcare technology systems and devices to exchange, interpret, and store data using common standards.

SHARE is Prepared to Help Hospital Systems Comply with CMS, ONC Final Interoperability Rule

2020: CMS and ONC issued final interoperability, Information Blocking and the ONC Health IT final rules March 9; majority of the regulations are effective Spring 2021. Deadlines were recently rolled back to allow more time, as resources are targeted into COVID-19 pandemic response (CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule).

Comply with “Final Interoperability” Rules: State Health Alliance for Records Exchange (SHARE) is here for you, ready to support health care providers who administer care to Arkansas residents. SHARE is prepared to help participants comply and implement our health information exchange (HIE) data exchange to make protected patient health information more accessible. SHARE is offering incentives to offset costs to hospitals and health systems for participating in the SHARE network by November 2020 and sharing data connections by April 2021.

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) finalized rules March 9, 2020, requiring major changes for payers and hospitals to provide patients unprecedented safe access to their own health information.
  • The rules address interoperability, information blocking, patient access to data and electronic health record (EHR) certification. In most cases, compliance calls for implementing significant data transparency requirements. CMS mandates hospitals and health systems to send admissions, discharge, and transfer (ADT) notifications as soon as possible.
  • Effective Spring 2021, hospitals must electronically send admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) alerts to community providers when patients are seen in the emergency department or admitted to, discharged, and/or transferred from the hospital to another community provider or practitioner. ADT alerts improve care quality and reduce readmissions.
    • SHARE ADT Notifications further help primary care providers keep track of patients during public health crises, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • CMS is now requiring these hospitalization alerts as a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, other time-sensitive requirements include: By May 1, 2021, hospitals must start sending ADT notifications to patients’ physicians. Payers have until July 1, 2021 to comply.
    • In late-2021, CMS will start publicly reporting the identity of clinicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals practicing information blocking (broadly defined as practices that are likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information).

Condition of Participation/Admission, Discharge & Transfer (ADT) Notifications: This rule requires hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals and critical access hospitals, to send notifications that must include at least a patient name, treating practitioner name and sending institution name. The health system will send notification at the time of registration at the emergency department; admission to the hospital’s inpatient services; the patient’s discharge or transfer from hospital’s emergency department; the patient’s discharge or transfer from hospital’s inpatient services. This requirement is effective May 1, 2021. SHARE already offers event notification services to its participants. This federal regulation is achieved by SHARE participants sending their ADT information to SHARE and SHARE delivering event notification service through (NexGen Healthcare Solutions, Mirth Connect).

To view the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Interoperability/index