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Compliance with ONC’s Info Blocking Rule for All Actors is in Effect Now

Compliance with the Information Blocking provisions of the ONC Final Rule for all Actors (Developers of Certified Health IT, HIEs/HINs, and Providers) was required as of April 5, 2021. The timing of enforcement is less clear. The HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will not finalize its enforcement timetable for Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) for Developers and HIEs/HINs pending a forthcoming Final Rule (based on an April 24, 2020 Proposed Rule). This Final Rule is scheduled for September 2022 release according to the latest federal government Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The OIG’s primary timing proposal was for enforcement to begin 60 days after publication of a Final Rule, but no earlier than the ONC compliance date. This proposal is subject to change.

For Developers

The first window for health IT developers of certified heath IT to attest to compliance with the Information Blocking Condition of Certification Requirement opened on April 1, 2022 and closed on April 30, 2022. For more information, see the ONC’s Attestations Fact Sheet.

The second window opens October 1, 2022.

For Developers

As of October 29, 2020, ONC has extended by two months its initial three months enforcement discretion period for information blocking certification provisions (and other certification provisions in its Final Rule). 

For Providers

(Who are not subject to ONC oversight or OIG CMPs)

Enforcement timing will depend on forthcoming (but not yet scheduled) rulemaking that will address additional information blocking “disincentives” for Providers as well as the federal agencies to which OIG will refer Provider-focused information blocking complaints.

In the face of this uncertainty, and with recognition of the complexity of implementation and compliance planning, rapidly approaching enforcement rules, and the acute need for wide data access, The Sequoia Project believes it prudent for organizations subject to the information blocking regulation to prepare for enforcement by developing an ongoing, organization-wide information blocking compliance strategy.

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