ONC scheduled to release updates on certification, information blocking in April

A stethoscope on a computer keyboard
An ONC official said the agency will release a proposed rule in April addressing interoperability and certification. (Getty/anyaberkut)

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT plans to release a proposed rule in April that will provide updates to EHR certification and interoperability enhancements.

The 21st Century Cures Act includes specific requirements for the Department of Health and Human Services to focus on burden reduction, including health IT certification and EHRs. To that end, ONC plans to release a proposed rule this spring that updates provisions of the HITECH Act and implements Cures provisions related to health IT certification, Elise Sweeney Anthony, ONC’s director of policy, said during the inaugural Health IT Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday.

The proposed rule will also address voluntary certification of health IT by pediatric health providers and voluntary attestation by health information networks adopting the ONC’s new Trusted Exchange Framework, along with “reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking.”

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The committee meeting also highlighted ONC’s progress in developing and finalizing its Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, released in draft form earlier in January. Following a 45-day public comment period, ONC plans to select a recognized coordinating entity to implement the framework before issuing a final version in by the end of 2018.

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