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Friday Feature | CMS Rules Attempt to Move Health IT Out of the Stone Age

Friday Feature | CMS Rules Attempt to Move Health IT Out of the Stone Age

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BookZurman is proud to share a recent post featuring the insights from guest author, Brian Book, BZ's Founder and President. 

Interoperability in the 21st century is a step toward round vs. square wheels. Let’s get your wagon fitted with round wheels for smooth sailing to true interoperability.
Brian Book

CMS Rules Apply to You. Yes, You.

You’ve certainly heard about the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) Health IT Certification Program. Healthcare providers, health information networks, and health IT developers of certified health IT are all required to implement these new rules.

Perhaps you overlooked the details because you assumed the rules aren’t relevant if you don’t do business with Medicare/Medicaid? If so, read on, this article can help you avoid staying in the dark with healthcare standards and mandates like the “too busy” caveman. Since 2005, we’ve been helping the healthcare community discover FHIR® (Fast Health Interoperability Resources), and we are now available to help you, too.

About Those Rules…

With the drive to coordinated and value-based care, it is only going to become more important to be interoperable based on healthcare IT standards.

That’s why, these new rules are comprised of penalties against information blocking, and updates to the Health IT Certification Program to enhance interoperability of Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). Organizations are required to adopt the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI) standard and standardized application programming interfaces (APIs). Health data must now be securely and seamlessly exchanged and accessible.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is starting to enforce interoperability mandates regarding standards through policy, with more changes to come. Learn more about what will be required of you, including: Privacy, security, and standards; Patient access API; Provider directory API; Payer-to-payer data exchange; Increasing the frequency of federal state data exchanges; Public reporting and information blocking; Digital contact information; Admission, discharge, and transfer event notifications.

The Ripple Effect of the CMS Rules

While initially, CMS is focusing on Medicare/Medicaid providers, everyone that treats patients will be required to adhere to healthcare IT standards. Even if you don’t do business with CMS for Medicare/Medicaid, the rules will still affect you as part of the broader industry.

Maybe you still don’t think the new CMS rules apply because you’re not affiliated with a hospital or don’t program EHRs? Perhaps you’re correct, at least for the moment. The rules may not affect you today, and possibly not even tomorrow, but they will affect you.

By the power of the ripple effect, the CMS rules affect part of the system now, then propagate outward until they reach every part of the wider system. Why wouldn’t you want to prepare now to avoid pain later?

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We’re trying to help move healthcare out of the Stone Age of fax and paper records to 21st Century interoperability. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but BookZurman can light your fire so that you see how the CMS rules will affect you and your organization – and avoid getting burned.

BookZurman is ready to help you clear the smoke and reduce the complexity of adopting FHIR. However you choose to apply FHIR, whether it’s application development or interoperability, or both, contact us today to find out how we can light the pathway to 21st century interoperability.

Get to know the guest author!

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Brian Book


Brian Book, Founder, President, is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and Team BZ strictly adheres to these successful processes, as well as Project Management Institute (PMI) and Agile HIT Standards Development. Brian holds a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Madison University, and applies his experience in creating efficient manufacturing processes to the healthcare space. Additionally, he studied project management at Southern Methodist University's School of Engineering and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM).

Learn more about Brian here!