On September 30, 2022, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) released recent guidance surrounding the Information Blocking Rule through a Blog Post on their website. 

In the blog post, the ONC stated they would be launching an dedicated webpage toward information blocking, which would be live on October 6. Further, they emphasized that actors under the rule could expect to see “periodic, experience- driven updates” to the rule as time went on.

In line with the latter point, the ONC released eight reminders, which similarly seem to arise from events that may have been reported over the past two year compliance period. These reminders include:

  • The information blocking (IB) definition’s limitation on the scope of electronic health information (EHI) is lifted as of October 6, 2022.
  • IB actors’ practices include acts and omissions.
  • The information blocking regulations’ exceptions are not solely “one size fits all” and address the facts and circumstances of the situation at hand.
  • Not all health information that’s electronic is EHI under the regulatory definition. And if such information is not EHI, then it’s not covered by the information blocking regulations.
  • How IB actors make EHI available for access, exchange, and use can and will vary based on who the IB actor is, their technological sophistication, and who it is that is seeking to access, exchange or use an IB actor’s EHI.
  • Information blocking is about “the data” (i.e., EHI) regardless of whether ONC-certified health IT is involved.
  • Use of certain information blocking exceptions by actors will provide clear notification to requestors whether their request to access, exchange, or use EHI is delayed or denied.
  • Information blocking claims are confidential and restricted from public disclosure. 

In addition to these reminders, the ONC has released information on the number of Information Blocking claims that have been brought over the past two years, and what is notable in the HIE space is no claims have been brought against HIEs in 2022. As a reminder, HIEs such as (MIHIN/ VHIEC) have been striving for greater, secure information sharing. We have not only completed a deep dive of the information to make sure our own entity is not engaging in Information Blocking practices, but also released informational packets to help our Stakeholders to comply themselves. 

For more information about Information Blocking and MiHIN’s analysis and action on this rule, please contact help@mihin.org Attn: Shreya Patel.