Information Blocking Rule Impact

Information Blocking Rule Impact
Information Blocking & Interoperability

Providing patients, providers, and payers with prompt access to clinical information and medical records.

On April 5, 2021, the 21st Century Cures Act’s Information Blocking Rule took effect. The regulation is designed to put patients in even more control of their care by ensuring prompt access to their health information and by pushing healthcare providers to begin focusing on interoperability (the ability for information to be electronically shared not only with patients, but with other providers regardless of what electronic medical record system they might use).

In response to that rule, MCH will be making some significant changes that will impact patients with an MCH primary care provider. These changes will specifically impact your patient portal. Here are some important things to consider in light of this new regulation:

  • Starting in the next month or so, all diagnostic test results will be available to review in your patient portal as soon as those results come in. This includes things like x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs as well as lab work. Due to this change, you may see results BEFORE your provider has had a chance to review them. MCH reviews every test result and your provider will contact you for anything requiring follow up. Additional information typically included in your patient record will also be made available through the patient portal over the next several months.
  • Many patients wish to review their test results immediately. Understanding your results may be difficult or they could appear to contain a serious finding. MCH recommends not assuming anything until you talk with your provider.
  • Notes and results not already in your patient portal before these changes go into effect will not be released retroactively. Please contact MCH’s Health Information Services department to access those tests or notes.

For more information about our compliance with the 21st Century Cures Act’s Information Blocking Rule, please call 603-924-4699 Ext. 1038.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 21st Century Cures Act’s Information Blocking Rule?

This regulation supports seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information. It seeks to remove barriers and delays related to traditional medical record requests and processes and calls on the healthcare industry to adopt standardized application programming interfaces to allow individuals to securely and easily access structured electronic health information. MCH currently shares the majority of the data that is required to be shared under the Cures Act via the patient portal.

What can I now see in my portal and when can I see it?

All diagnostic test results and clinical notes, with rare exceptions, will be published immediately to MCH’s patient portal without delay.  This means that you could see results BEFORE your Provider has seen them. MCH reviews every test result, and your provider will contact you for anything requiring follow up. Results and notes not already in MCH’s patient portal before this change goes into effect will not be released retroactively. Please contact MCH’s Health Information Services department to access those tests or notes.

Should I wait to look at my results until after I’ve heard from my provider?

This regulation, now gives you the ability to choose when is the best time to view your results. It can be as soon as they are finalized and published to the patient portal or you can wait until your provider has reviewed the results and contacts you. Please discuss with your provider when they order your tests about what option best suits you. Some patients choose to wait to hear from their provider directly regarding results that can be potentially life-changing, such as a biopsy.

How will I be notified that my results are available in my patient portal?

You will receive a notification to view your results once the provider has reviewed them. However, the finalized results will potentially be available in your portal prior to that notification.

Which notes can I see in my patient portal?

All outpatient notes will be available in your patient portal. MCH will be releasing more note types, such as telephone notes. Some of this information may be more administrative than clinical. Parents and guardians, please note that for adolescents ages 12-17 confidential communications between the adolescent and his or her care team, or treatment that the adolescent seeks independently, may not be released as it is protected by state and federal privacy law.

Who else might see this data?

The additional information in the patient portal will be viewable by your proxy, so please keep this in mind when setting up other individual(s) with proxy status in your patient portal.

Helpful links

Information Blocking FAQs

Reading Your Notes: FAQs for Patients