21st Century Cures Act & Information Blocking

Increased Patient Access to Health Records – the Cures Act

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), signed into law in 2016, was designed to help bring health care innovations to patients to provide more patient control in a value-based health system. Recognizing that patient access and ease of transfer of health records are key, the law includes two provisions that directly affect health care offices: 1) providers are prohibited from “information blocking” (practices that restrict the transfer of information); and 2) electronic health record systems must allow for interoperability (easy interface) among different health systems. After some delays in implementation, HHS’ latest release says that the rule will now be applied starting April 5, 2021.