FAQ #3 - Healthcare Provider Compliance Requirements

Healthcare Interoperability FAQ Series

FAQ #3: What do I need to know about healthcare provider compliance requirements for 2021?


Well, there are a few important things to know about the healthcare provider compliance requirements for 2021, when it comes to interoperability and patient access to their information. One of the major shifts that has taken place with the new ruling, the ONC’s Cures Act Final Rule, is that it’s stimulating what’s been long overdue in terms of the ability to become interoperable.
And providers, just like health plan payers and EHR vendors, are also responsible for making sure their clients, their patients, have access to any information that they have on their system, or systems, about that patient’s health.
Now, the US Core is defining the actual data elements that must be made available to the client. But the bottom line is, effectively all of the healthcare information that the patient wants to access about them, needs to be available to them. And the method for that to happen is that the rule says that any patient using any application, mobile application, has to be able to access that system to consume, store on their app, and read the information, that healthcare information, about them.
The providers, depending on how they’ve approached their electronic healthcare record system, they may have an internal homegrown system, they may have a small local vendor, or they may have a mid to large size EHR vendor system that they use for maintaining their electronic health records.
Regardless of their solution, they have to have a way to transform that system into the SMART on FHIR standards. The rule addresses the issue, the previous challenge around interoperability that there was no standardization of each of these elements or resources which were essentially information about the client.
What is that code and is it standardized? And that’s what SMART on FHIR is effectively about. And so, the systems can now communicate, knowing it’s the exact same piece of information, regardless of what system it is in. The challenge is going to be taking these legacy data models and systems where it has to be conformed or mapped to the SMART on FHIR standards.


Dr. Steve Weatherbee

Dr. Weatherbee has spent decades working in education, behavioral health, public health, and more. He has experienced the unique challenges that exist in this field from multiple disciplines. His work in program evaluation lead him to create eINSIGHT to empower behavioral health service providers to improve client outcomes.