Achieving success with the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule before the deadline

ONC Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act. While this title doesn’t quite do justice to the nuances and intricacies present in the Final Rule of the 21st Century Cures Act, the article itself can help providers with a jumping-off point on how they can adopt APIs to help allow individuals to securely and easily access structured EHI using smartphone applications.

Let’s first understand what is the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule?

As a result of the ongoing technological shifts that affect how people communicate with one another through portable devices like smartphones and tablets, new regulations came into place to protect these individuals and their rights as patients through the HIPAA privacy rule. As healthcare technology continues to advance, the market will change, and key stakeholders will have a completely different approach to how care is coordinated and received. Within the Final Rule, there exist two major concepts: interoperability and information blocking.

Interoperability

The main function of interoperability as defined in the Final Rule is the ability of different technology systems to communicate and exchange data. In this case, how patient data is shared and exchanged across multiple EHR systems from different hospitals is the key area that the rule focuses on. The ability to eventually create one unified method for accomplishing this for healthcare networks across the United States is the primary goal of the interoperability aspect of the
Final Rule.

Information blocking

Information blocking is another significant aspect of the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule. Organizations that interfere with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI) by the patient or patient provider can face fines or penalties. Historically, healthcare has not been the most translucent when it comes to patients’ access to their health information. These new policy stipulations ensure that patients can get access to information, thus giving them more control to decide what method of care is best for them


Predicting a path towards compliance

While some Final Rule stipulations like CoP notifications have already come and gone, more regulations in 2022 and 2023 are coming down the pipeline. The ideal scenario for provider networks would be to predict how their systems line up to what needs to be accomplished to comply with the Final Rule. From implementing new methods for patient access to smartphones via FHIR APIs to making sure patient information can be easily moved from one healthcare network to another network, there are many areas providers can look at now to be successful in the future.


Achieving success without starting over

One of the great things about the current state of technological progress for providers is that a solution that takes care of multiple Cures Act certification criteria can be implemented without completely ripping up and replacing your current legacy systems that have been in place for the last few decades. mphrX’s Minerva platform offers solutions to the patient-facing compliance mandates that can be implemented without changing provider workflows. The chart below showcases the areas where Minerva succeeds in doing this:


Certification Criterion Regulation Text Citation*
EHI Export
§170.315(b)(10) 
Auditable Events and Tamper Resistance
§170.315(d)(2)
Audit Report
§170.315(d)(3)
End-User Device Encryption
§170.315(d)(7)
View, download, and transmit to 3rd Party
§170.315(e)(1)
Patient Health Information (PHI) capture
§170.315(e)(3)
Automated Numerator Recording
§170.315(g)(1)
Consolidated CDA Creation
§170.315(g)(6)
Application Access-Patient Selection
§170.315(g)(7)
Application Access-All Data Request
§170.315(g)(9)
Standardized API for Patient and Population Services
§170.315(g)(10)

By partnering with mphrX, providers will have access to the Minerva platform that offers a shortcut into compliance with several upcoming stipulations within the next few years. Additionally, since mphrX is a leader in healthcare interoperability and digitization, organizations will be prepared for whatever comes down the line from a certification criteria standpoint.

Are you ready to reap the rewards of a Cures Act Compliant organization? Stay ahead of the curve by scheduling a demo today!

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