Healthcare organizations have some extra time to plan for the information blocking rules and IT certification requirements outlined in the 21st Century Cures Act. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has set its new compliance date for information blocking applicability on April 5, 2021. And the new requirements around standardized application programming interface (API) functionality have been moved out to New Year’s Eve 2022.

Why Was the Deadline Pushed Back?

As National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Dr. Don Rucker explained, this new extension was granted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “We are hearing that while there is strong support for advancing patient access and clinician coordination through the provisions in the final rule, stakeholders also must manage the needs being experienced during the current pandemic.”

It’s important to note that Dr. Rucker also said that the “ONC is not removing the requirements advancing patient access to their health information that are outlined in the Cures Act Final Rule. Rather, we are providing additional time to allow everyone in the healthcare ecosystem to focus on COVID-19 response.”

If you need a refresher on the whole situation, we’ve previously written about these new mandates and also covered how to prepare for these industry changes, so check out those articles. Once you’re up to speed, read on to learn about a new toolkit provided by the ONC to help developers comply with the new interoperability rules. 

New Resources to Help Health IT Developers

These new resources include a comprehensive view of key dates, an updated reference doc noting all the changes, and a deep dive into the upcoming API requirements. Here’s a bit more information on these new resources. 

2015 Edition Cures Update Key Dates

This resource is your developers’ roadmap of milestones to hit as they work to certify your systems. It’s also designed to keep them informed of the relevant requirements at each step along the journey. 

Cert Notes: 2015 Edition Cures Update Reference

This document provides an overview of the changes made to the 2015 Edition Certification Criteria requirements as outlined in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule. Health IT developers can think of this as their one-stop-shop. It’s a great resource to not only learn about the changes but also understand which certification criteria have been adjusted as they work toward a “2015 Edition Cures Update” certification status for their modules.

API Resource Guide

This resource guide is specifically for IT developers who are pursuing ONC certification for API certification criteria (170.315(g)(7) – (g)(10)) or compliance with API Conditions or Maintenance of Certification requirements. This document includes ONC clarifications from the ONC Cures Act Final Rule preamble, Certification Companion Guides, and extra materials that will help developers meet the API requirements of the ONC Certification Program. 

Partner With Experts to Meet These New Requirements 

The ONC has curated many different resources to assist health IT developers and organizations comply with the ONC Cures Act Final Rule. But sometimes efforts like these require a partner who knows how to navigate all the resources and compliance requirements. That’s where Surety Systems can help. 

Our senior-level healthcare integration consulting team has the HL7 experience you’ll need to meet these new interoperability standards. Because you may be relieved to hear that the deadline has been pushed back, but it hasn’t gone away entirely—the clock is still ticking down. Contact us today to get started, (before the deadline catches up with you).