Most likely if you are a health care professional you probably spend more time documenting on a patient than you do caring for a patient. Get ready to develop more policies and procedures. As the red tape gets thicker and more government regulations added, you’re likely to need a consultant to help you keep up with the changes. Yes, it can be a can of worms…not just for you the provider, but your EHR vendor too. How are you going to modify your practice in a manner that makes it easier for you to do your job?

The clock is ticking on yet another rule. The ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule , will require you give patients “direct” and immediate access to healthcare records based on calendar days “not business days”. No information blocking allowed, and delivery of requested PHI must be given in a timely manner.

How are you going to handle patient requests? Most likely you will want to adopt technology to push/pull information through a secure Application Programming Interface (API). The API will allow your patients to request information without disrupting your practice. Although you won’t be required to adopt a secure API, but if you have one, you’ll have to use them according to the rules. The Cures Act is geared to push adoption of interoperability. If a third party request records it may be limited only to electronic copies from the EHR.

What about records request, can you still charge a fee? You will be able to charge patients for records, but there are rules that define what is permissible and impermissible. If you have individuals who can’t pay for the records you’ll still be required to give the information regardless. What will eventually happen as a result of adoption of API’s is the fee for record request will no longer be feasible. If there is no additional cost to the provider to supply copies of the records, there will be no fee as there are no production cost of supplies or work is the assumption.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an EHR that keeps your practice in compliance. Contact Us for more information.

Author: Jennie Welter


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