As part of the 21st Century Cures Act, the federal government will require that all healthcare providers grant patients access to their personal health information starting July 1.
The CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule requires payers and providers to remove the industry siloes that prevent seamless patient data exchange across the care continuum.
While the final rule has been in effect since January 1, 2021, CMS put off enforcement of the new requirements until July 1, 2021 due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The regulation aims to benefit patients and providers alike. Increased interoperability will help ensure providers have access to an individual’s care history to make informed clinical decisions, which may lead to improved patient outcomes. Similarly, increased access to personal health information may lead patients to become more engaged in their care decisions.
Access to patient data across the care continuum may cut back on duplicate testing and other inefficiencies as well, leading to lower healthcare costs for payers and patients.