Fierce Healthcare ONC
March 11, 2020

6 Ways the ONC’s New Rules Will Impact the Healthcare Industry

New federal rules around data-sharing aim to give patients unprecedented access to their healthcare information much the way they already manage their finances or travel information.

A rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) will require patients are able to access their health information and share it with third-party apps.

“A core part of the rule is patients’ control of their electronic health information which will drive a growing patient-facing healthcare IT economy, and allow apps to provide patient-specific price and product transparency,” said Donald Rucker, M.D., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, during a call with reporters.

Under the rule, hospitals and doctors are required to provide software access points, or endpoints, to their EHR databases so that patients can download these records to their smartphones. The rule also aims to penalize information blocking, or anti-competitive behavior that hinders the exchange of medical information.

Those are just a few major changes included in 1,244-page rule released Monday that will have huge implications for providers, health IT vendors and health information exchanges.

While there likely won’t be an immediate impact in the industry, the regulations could shake up the healthcare market in the long-term, stakeholders say. “These rules plant patients at the center of healthcare delivery to give them control of their data and enable them to direct it to whoever they want. That’s a reality now under these rules,” said Jeff Coughlin, senior director of federal and state affairs at the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS).

Here’s a look at major changes industry stakeholders can expect.

By Heather Landi. Originally published by Fierce Healthcare March 11, 2020.