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HHS Takes Action Against Information Blocking: What You Need to Know

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule that aims to crack down on the intentional or unreasonable withholding of electronic health record (EHR) data. This is commonly known as “information blocking,” which is defined in the CARES Act as “a practice that interferes with, prevents, or materially discourages access, exchange, or use of electronic health information.”  

The proposed rule outlines penalties for hospitals, doctors, and accountable care organizations (ACOs) that engage in such practices. The main penalty to note is the possibility of a significant reduction in Medicare reimbursements. 

It is important for healthcare providers and physician practices to familiarize themselves with the proposed rule and understand its implications. This will allow them to ensure compliance and avoid penalties that could impact their financial stability and reputation.

“HHS is committed to developing and implementing policies that discourage information blocking to help people and the health providers they allow to have access to their electronic health information,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a news release.


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