Full Circle Healthcare: Information Blocking, Interoperability, and Health Data

August 11, 2022

As the world becomes more digital, there are certain protections in place to help ease the accessibility of health information for each patient. Speaking on the topic of information blocking, Nicki Anderson Director of Compliance with Medsphere Systems Corporation sat down with host Michelle Dawn Mooney to discuss what it is and how it happens.

“So, information blocking is basically defined as any practice that is likely to interfere with, prevent, materially discourage or otherwise inhibit the access, exchange or use of Electronic Health Information, otherwise known as EHI,” said Anderson.

While there are a few ways information blocking can happen, common examples include working with a health IT developer to intentionally restrict information from one form to another, using non-standard health IT, or if your health IT developer has the ability to transmit certain information via the portal but a setting is configured to turn that feature off.

The rule applies to many in the healthcare industry. Anderson said, “Anybody in the healthcare landscape is subject to information blocking regardless if you’re using certified technologies or not.”

While there are quite a few people affected by this, there are currently eight listed exceptions to the rule, including infeasibility exception, fees exception, licensing exception, privacy and security exceptions, and preventing harm exception.

These exceptions exist to protect under HIPAA. For example, under the preventing harm exception, sensitive information, particularly in the case of a minor, may not be shared with a parent. Anderson advised practices on the topic, “I recommend that you would go review those as you are developing and reviewing your policies and procedures.”

Current penalties for violation of the rule are issued under OIG as civil monetary penalties to health information networks and developers, but not to providers, though this is anticipated to change by the end of the year.

Recent Episodes

advancing health equity
View episode

During the 2024 HIMSS Conference, an annual highlight for digital health innovators, Dr. Bryan O. Buckley, the Health Equity Director at NCQA, shared transformative insights on advancing health equity in digital healthcare. This interview, conducted by Healthcare Rethink host Brian Urban, delves into the strategies that can reshape healthcare delivery through technology and equity….

View episode

Validation and qualification are some of the most critical phases in the lifecycle of equipment and processes within industries like pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. Driven by the necessity to adhere to stringent regulatory standards and ensure high operational efficiency, the distinction between ‘qualification of equipment’ and ‘validation of processes’ becomes paramount. As the landscape of…

health equity is earned and learned
View episode

In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, “health equity is earned and learned” captures a vital truth. This critical concept underscores the need for a proactive and educated approach to bridge healthcare outcomes and access disparities. On the Healthcare Rethink podcast, host Brian Urban welcomes Bonzo Reddick, MD, MPH, FAAFP, a prominent Public Health Leader…