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CMS Proposed Interoperability Rule: Where is it at?

In February of 2019, the ONC and CMS proposed a new interoperability rule. This interoperability rule would really impact patients, providers, and software developers in the industry, as it promises to improve the exchange of data between EHRs and outside applications of the patient’s or provider’s selection.

To sum it up, the interoperability rule as mentioned in Health IT will “support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI). It calls on the healthcare industry to adopt standardized application programming interfaces (APIs), which will help allow individuals to securely and easily access structured EHI using smartphone applications”.

Earlier in 2019 we posted about our thoughts for the interoperability rule, mentioning some of the benefits it would bring once implemented:

*  The rule would encourage developers to come up with applications that enable providers to up their clinical game.

*  It will facilitate the free exchange of data between healthcare entities.

*  It should also lead to better provider satisfaction because the apps will help them deliver better medical care more efficiently.

*  It would improve the ability to access patient data from other EHRs.

*  Better access to automated risk capturing tools.

*  Easier access to clinical registries, and true medication reconciliation.

We went back to check the status on the interoperability rule and here is where it’s at. The rule is now under review at the Office of Management and Budget, this would be the last step to go through before approval and publication. FierceHealthcare reported in October 2019 that “CMS delivered the rule to the agency on September 26. Despite calls by many industry groups to slow down and issue a supplemental notice of rule-making instead, ONC appears to be moving ahead with finalizing the rule”.

At Inferscience, we provide different tools to facilitate HCC Coding and Clinical Decision Support for provider organizations. We constantly strive to facilitate documentation for healthcare providers while contributing to better patient care. We want to help provider organizations receive proper credit for the value of care provided. A common obstacle we have encountered is with EHR software integrations, as frequently EHR software companies are not willing to integrate with other companies.

While we look into the future of healthcare, we hope this rule is finalized soon. Besides facilitating EHR software integrations and more efficient access to data, the rule is expected to enable a greater analysis of that data. This will lead to more cost-effective practices and allow physicians to focus on what’s ultimately important: making a difference in patients’ lives.

Other sources to check out if you’d like to learn more details about the Interoperability rule:

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/tech/final-onc-cms-interoperability-rules-submitted-to-office-management-and-budget-for-review
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=HHS-ONC-2019-0002-0001