Health IT Now Endorses Senate Amendment Requiring Update on Information Blocking Regulations


Coalition says "It is fitting that Congress would put oversight measures in place to ensure that the intent of 21st Century Cures is followed and that the administration upholds its end of the bargain." 

WASHINGTON, DC (August 22, 2018): Health IT Now - a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting the use of data and health information technology to improve healthcare - announced its support today for a bipartisan amendment to the U.S. Senate's Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019

The proposal (SA 3732), authored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), would require the Trump administration to provide Congress with an update by September 30, 2018 on its progress establishing information blocking regulations required under the 21st Century Cures Act.

Health IT Now Senior Director of Government Affairs Catherine Pugh released the following statement endorsing the Senate amendment:

"Information blocking represents a senseless barrier to true interoperability and a continued threat to patient safety that must be addressed. Bipartisan majorities in Congress recognized this when they rightly added key information blocking provisions to the 21st Century Cures Act but, more than 600 days after its enactment, we are still waiting on these rules of the road to be released,"said HITN Senior Director of Government Affairs Catherine Pugh."We have met with countless officials in the Trump administration who share our commitment to combating the perils of information blocking and we believe they are acting in good faith to release these rules promptly but, in the meantime, it is fitting that Congress would put oversight measures in place to ensure that the intent of 21st Century Cures is followed and that the administration upholds its end of the bargain. Health IT Now thanks Senators Whitehouse and Cassidy for their leadership on this amendment and urges its inclusion in the final spending bill." 

Health IT Now's Record of Action on Information Blocking:

  • Provided an August 15, 2018 response to a request for information from the Health Care Innovation Caucus, in which the coalition urged lawmakers to work with the administration and "issue these critical [information blocking] regulations as soon as possible."
  • Assembled more than a dozen cosigners on an August 6, 2018 letter to HHS and OIG criticizing delays in releasing information blocking regulations.
  • Released a February 27th, 2018 report with the Bipartisan Policy Center entitled, "The Future Role of Government in Health IT and Digital Health." The report called on the administration to "use its existing authority ... to ensure that information flows freely, without information blocking," adding that "As part of this work, applicable federal agencies, including the OIG, CMS, and ONC should enforce 21st Century Cures information blocking provisions."
  • Led more than a dozen health IT organizations in an August 29, 2017 sign-on letter offering specific recommendations for eliminating the threat of information blocking, including calling for a proposed rule clarifying information blocking provisions in Cures. 
  • Hosted a July 25, 2017 information blocking summit with nearly two dozen stakeholder groups to discuss ways to most effectively engage in the effort against harmful information blocking practices.