Back in June (2023), the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) issued a final rule outlining the penalties IT developers, health information exchanges and health information networks would face for information blocking infractions. At that time, the OIG made it clear a separate rule to address disincentives for providers would be coming.

That day came, on November 1st, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued the Appropriate Disincentives Proposed Rule. The proposed rule outlines the reimbursement ramifications providers and provider organizations will be responsible for if found willfully and knowingly committing information blocking. CMS programs specifically outlined in the disincentives include:

  • The Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program
  • The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)

Additionally, providers who participate in Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) also face disincentives under the Medicare Shared Savings Program.

This latest proposed rulemaking aligns with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) commitment to discouraging information blocking and ensuring individuals have easy access to their electronic health information (EHI).

Simply put, seamless exchange of EHI is the expectation. By creating disincentives, HHS is sending a clear message to providers and provider organizations to ensure the appropriate sharing of information.

The proposed rule is open for public comment until January 2, 2024 and can be found here

CMS and the ONC will also be holding an Information Session on Wednesday, November 15th.

Jennifer McCann, RHIA, CHPS, CTR

Jennifer McCann, RHIA, CHPS, CTR

Director of Client Relations and Strategy

Jennifer brings over twenty years of experience in the healthcare industry to her role as the Director of Client Relations and Strategy with Haugen Consulting Group. She began her HIM career working in acute care settings in Rhode Island and Massachusetts before relocating to Denver in 2002. Prior to joining the Haugen Consulting Group, Jennifer spent several years in operational roles, successfully building and managing teams through complex projects and implementations. She is well versed in HIPAA privacy and security and workflow analysis.

She has held numerous Board positions with the Colorado Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) and is currently serving as President-Elect for the 2022-2023 term. Jennifer is an active volunteer and enjoys mentoring and networking within the Health Information profession.


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