CURES Act Information Blocking Compliance

The 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”) is a bipartisan-backed law passed in December 2016 and implemented through rulemaking as of April 5, 2021. A key aspect of the Cures Act is the intention to give patients safe and secure access to health data so they can better manage their care and make more informed healthcare decisions.

Health care providers need to be ready to share certain electronic health records with patients by the April 5, 2021 deadline and avoid claims of “information blocking” in violation of the rule.

What is Information Blocking?

Rules issued under the Cures Act are designed to prevent “information blocking.”  Providers are not allowed to engage in information blocking, which is defined as anything formally restricting the access or use of electronic health information (“EHI”) through contracts or policies. It also prohibits unnecessarily slowing or delaying access or limiting the timeliness of access to EHI or charging for EHI.

What are the risks?

Not only is a compliance program an important component in making sure you and your organization meets the requirements of info blocking regulations, but it also will help defend your organization from info blocking complaints and any resulting OIG investigations. Simply asserting that you were not aware or understood info blocking requirements is not a defense and would likely still result in penalties and disincentives from the federal government.   A resident or family member complaint of information blocking could trigger an investigation.

Your risks could include:

  • Fines
  • Reputational risk
  • Implementation and compliance costs
  • Enforcement and regulatory uncertainty and conflicts (e.g., Cures vs. HIPAA)
  • High volumes of information requests
  • Audits may show that what seemed compliant was not and can expose you to unexpected liability

What can I do to stay compliant?

  1. Read the rules
  2. Define your plan and process
  3. Evaluate/choose technology that allows you to efficiently stay compliant
  4. Update policies and procedures

Make sure compliance is efficient

Responding to frequent resident and family member requests for electronic health information can be a time-consuming burden on over-stretched staff members.  Any compliance plan must include methods for efficiently delivering EHI on demand.

How’s Mom’s Chart View feature can help

The How’s Mom Family App and Connection Hub provide residents' health information to authorized family members (available for PointClickCare users only) – on demand.  Your facility decides which health records to make available to families.  There’s no need to respond to individual information requests – the data is available right on the resident or family member’s mobile device.

Data availability includes:

  • Medication Lists​: Current list of medications
  • Vitals: Numerous vital readings including temperature, blood sugar, weight, and more
  • Conditions: Any change to current conditions and brief summary update of existing conditions
  • Nutrition Orders​: Listing of allergies and food restrictions. Updates on recent meals and consumption levels

Schedule a Demo

Contact us today to learn how the How’s Mom Family App and Connections Hub can help you comply with the Cures Act, easily and efficiently.