Could HHS information blocking rule have unintended consequences on data sharing and security?

A legal expert who helped write HIMSS’ comments on the proposed rule offers an in-depth look at the new regs, and explains what they could mean for IT and infosec leaders. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed new rules that will have a profound effect on how healthcare providers share patient data. The Office for the National Coordinator of Health IT and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are each reviewing industry comments on their proposed rules.

HHS clearly intends to transform how patient data is shared among providers and with patients by outlining permissible business practices that will not be considered information blocking and by requiring healthcare providers and their service providers to share data more broadly.

“Section 4004 of the 21st Century Cures Act prohibits ‘information blocking’ and authorizes HHS to identify activities that will not constitute information blocking,” explained Amy S. Leopard, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, a law firm that specializes in various industries including healthcare.

Leopard specializes in healthcare privacy and security. She recently worked with HIMSS staff on the comments to the HHS proposed Information Blocking rules.


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