Understanding Information Blocking Rules

The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) is intended to give patients better, more meaningful access to their health information and enable providers and hospitals to access and exchange patient health information. The result, it is hoped, will be greater transparency and reduced administrative costs.

To this end, information blocking refers to any activity or policy that is likely to interfere with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information, except as required by law or covered by specific exceptions. A healthcare provider may be considered to be information blocking if they knowingly place unreasonable barriers to or interfere with the access, use, or exchange of electronic health information. The intention behind the Cures Act is to prohibit affirmative acts to block legitimate access.

Information blocking rules apply to all healthcare providers regardless of whether they are using a certified EHR or participating in such incentive programs as MIPS.

Information blocking rules apply to health IT developers like Eyefinity, health information exchanges, and healthcare providers like you. The information on this site focuses on what you need to know about information blocking rules as a healthcare provider.

If you have questions about information blocking rules, visit the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Information Blocking FAQs page.