The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently proposed a new rule to support the access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI). The proposed rule encourages the adoption of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs), which will help allow individuals to securely and easily access structured EHI using smartphone applications. This facilitates a patient's ability to access their health information by requiring that patients be able to electronically access all of their EHI for free. It also implements the information blocking provisions of the Cures Act.
The rule gives seven exceptions to the definition of information blocking (proposed at 45 CFR 171.201–207). If an actor (a healthcare provider, HIT developer, or HIE or network) satisfies one or more exception, their actions would not be treated as information blocking and they would not be subject to civil penalties and other disincentives under the law. These seven exceptions are outlined below (this information based on the CMS fact sheet found here).