‘Open Notes’ Rule Delayed Until April

by Kristina Fiore: For Entire Post, Go Here…

ngd- damn! Next they’ll postpone it because the cat had kittens…

Feds point to limited healthcare IT resources spurred by COVID as reason for delay.

mplementation of the federal “Open Notes” rule granting patients immediate access to their clinical notes, originally slated for Monday, has been postponed until next spring, a Department of Health and Human Services official said.

The deadline has been extended to April 5, 2021, to give providers who are busy with the demands of COVID-19 and the move to telehealth more time to comply with the rule, Don Rucker, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said on a press call.

The “Information Blocking” rule of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in 2016, was supposed to go into effect on Nov. 2. Referred to as “Open Notes,” it states that eight types of clinical notes can’t be blocked and must be made immediately available to patients. These include:

  • Consultation notes
  • Discharge summary notes
  • History and physical
  • Imaging narratives
  • Lab report narratives
  • Pathology report narratives
  • Procedure notes
  • Progress notes

Psychotherapy notes, and information compiled in anticipation of a lawsuit, are exempt from the rule.

“Patients have had the right to see their medical record, but it hasn’t been easy, in general, for them to do that,” said Catherine DesRoches, DrPH, executive director of OpenNotes, a study group that launched early trials of the practice. “This gives patients easy and convenient access to all of their medical information through a patient portal.”

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