Information Blocking

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Cures Act prevents patients’ electronic health information information blocking practices, and the provider compliance deadline is April 5th.  The rule is designed to give patients and their healthcare providers secure access to health information, and includes a provision requiring that patients can electronically access all of their electronic health information at no cost.  To access the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule fact sheets, click HERE.


Information blocking (info blocking) can occur in many forms. Providers may experience info blocking when trying to access patient records from:

  • other providers
  • connecting their electronic health record (EHR) systems to local health information exchanges (HIEs)
  • migrating from one EHR to another
  • linking their EHRs with a clinical data registry


Patients may experience info blocking when trying to access their medical records, or when sending their records to another provider.


Examples of Info Blocking Practices:

Section 4004 of the Cures Act specifies certain practices that could constitute information blocking:

  • Practices that restrict authorized access, exchange, or use under applicable state or federal law of such information for treatment and other permitted purposes under such applicable law, including transitions between certified health information technologies (health IT);
  • Implementing health IT in nonstandard ways that are likely to substantially increase the complexity or burden of accessing, exchanging, or using EHI;
  • Implementing health IT in ways that are likely to— 
    • Restrict the access, exchange, or use of EHI with respect to exporting complete information sets or in transitioning between health IT systems; or
    • Lead to fraud, waste, or abuse, or impede innovations and advancements in health information access, exchange, and use, including care delivery enabled by health IT.


The AMA has also released information sheets to assist health care provider organizations.

What is Information Blocking? –

– How do I comply with info blocking? –

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