Health Information Sharing: New Rules to Live By

The 21st Century Cures Act required that ONC* develop regulations to improve interoperability and patient access to electronic health information and promote information sharing. In May 2020, both ONC and CMS published final regulations that establish requirements for health care “providers” (which includes physicians, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, group practices, pharmacies, and laboratories), developers of certified health IT, and health information exchanges and networks.  The rules intend to enhance electronic health information exchange and patient access to their personal health data, including the use of modern health IT standards and standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs), and prohibiting information blocking. This module provides information to help practices comply with new requirements.

*ONC is the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which is charged with coordinating efforts to implement and use the most advanced technology and the electronic exchange of health information. ONC is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Why is this important?

These requirements are effective April 5, 2021, and all physician practices need to understand what electronic health information must be available for access, exchange, and use and what clinicians (or their health systems) need to do to comply.  It will require changes in how information is documented in the record, EHR configuration, and clear communication with patients regarding these rules.  It is important to note that while the effective date is April 5, 2021, prior agreements, arrangements, or contracts still in effect on and after that date may implicate the Information Blocking requirements.  These rules are referred to as “Information Blocking” Rules because they are trying to prevent the interference with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information, or the “intentional withholding” of patient information. 

How will these tools help?

This module includes resources that can help clinicians and staff supporting them understand what they need to do to comply, including checklists, sample policies, patient communication, and background information to help understand the requirements. 

Target Audience

Target Audience

  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Medical Assistants
  • Practice Managers

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • What information must be shared with patients, and when?
  • To whom do these new rules apply?
  • What is expected of clinicians?
  • How does this benefit (or potentially harm) my patients and my practice?
  • What do I need to do to comply with these new rules?
  • How will these rules affect my practice's HIPAA policies and procedures?
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ABIM MOC
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Margo J. Williams, MHA, CMPE
Manager, Department of Medical Practice
American College of Physicians
Brooke M. Rockwern, MPH
Senior Associate, Health IT Policy
American College of Physicians
Dejaih Johnson, JD, MPA
Analyst, Regulatory Affairs-Health IT
American College of Physicians
Physician Reviewers:
Deepti Pandita, MD, FACP, FAMIA
Chief Health Information Officer
Hennepin Healthcare, Minneapolis, MN
Rebecca Hemphill, MD, FACP
Medical Director for Clinical Informatics
Maine Medical Partners, Portland, ME
Governor, Maine Chapter of American College of Physicians
Ross W. Hilliard, MD, FACP
Director for Medical Informatics
Lifespan Health System, Providence, RI
All of the contributors to this module (authors and reviewers) have nothing to disclose.

Continuing Medical Education

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education (CME) for physicians.

The ACP designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 1 medical knowledge MOC point in the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credit claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

This module offers CME and MOC credit, as well as verification of attendance. After taking the ACP Practice Biopsy, reading the background material and case study, reviewing the resources, and submitting an evaluation, users may submit for up to 1 credit. Once you have completed the module, you will be provided instructions on how to claim CME and MOC credit or download a certificate of attendance.

Release Date: March 29, 2021

Expiration Date: March 29, 2024

To earn CME credits, you must attest after completion that you have:

  • Participated in the completion of the ACP Practice Biopsy
  • Participated in the review of the ACP Practice Biopsy result
  • Completed an evaluation

When you have done so, follow the on-screen instructions to complete and submit the claim form.


Available Credit

  • 1.00 ABIM MOC
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Attendance


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