Summary of Comments
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released proposed rules aimed at improving interoperability and patient access, preventing information blocking, and promoting innovation, patient safety, and choice. Together, these proposals have the potential to advance the healthcare industry and accelerate interoperability across the country; however, they also raise significant questions related to privacy, security, legal interpretation, and enforcement. We asked for feedback from our stakeholders in an effort to provide cohesive comments back to the federal government on these wide-reaching proposals. After extensive stakeholder discussion, NYeC submitted comments in late May.
At the highest level, we are very supportive of the spirit and intention of the proposals. We urged CMS and ONC to work together, and with other offices within the Department of Health and Human Services, to ensure harmonization among any finalized regulations. We also encouraged both agencies to be realistic with regards to the implementation timeframe given the breadth and complexity of certain requirements within the rules. Additionally, we encouraged clarifications to ensure the SHIN-NY can be leveraged by providers and payers in New York to fulfill certain requirements proposed, such as hospital event notifications and payer participation in trusted exchange networks. Furthermore, given the potential complexities in complying with the information blocking provisions and exceptions as proposed, we asked ONC to provide a safe harbor for providers who participate in robust, mature health information networks like the SHIN-NY.