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New ONC rules on information blocking and promoting patient privacy

George R. Gooch (george.gooch@thsa.org) is CEO at Texas Health Services Authority in Austin, TX.

On March 4, 2019, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that, among other things, defines exceptions to the definition of “information blocking” laid out in the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2016.[1] Several provisions of the Cures Act directed ONC to implement provisions relating to advancing interoperability; prohibiting information blocking; and enhancing the usability, accessibility, and privacy and security of health information technology (health IT).

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