Sigh. I imagine that’s the sound that came from many provider organizations as they reviewed HHS’s Proposed Disincentives for Info Blocking.
In the face of tremendous financial headwinds and resource challenges, provider organizations are being hit with what seems like another administrative burden: worrying about how, if they are deemed to have info blocked, they could end up facing steep financial penalties and public shaming (by way of a post on the ONC website).
I’m sure the proposed disincentives aren’t intended to be cruel, even if they do seem to come at a record-breaking bad time. The intention of the proposed disincentives, according to the press release from HHS, is to penalize providers who “knowingly and unreasonably interfere(d) with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information.” Targeting providers who are knowingly committing info blocking seems like a net positive as we work to make clinical data exchange more meaningful and timely.
There is a lot of concern, however, about how the disincentives will be applied and what they will do to organizations who are already struggling to keep pace with increased demands for clinical data while balancing the importance of protecting patient privacy and security. In their public comments on the proposed disincentives, the American Hospital Association said what I imagine many provider organizations are feeling: “The disincentive structure proposed in the rule is excessive, so much so that it may threaten the financial viability of economically fragile hospitals, including many small and rural hospitals.”
While the disincentives haven’t been finalized, I expect we will not see them revised substantially so that they would not inflict serious harm on those found guilty of info blocking: Deterrence is the point of disincentives, after all.
So, how can provider organizations, who are already overwhelmed and often under-resourced, ensure they have a Release of Information (ROI) program that minimizes the risk of being hit with disincentives? Furthermore, how can provider organizations ensure they have an ROI program that best serves their patients, partners, and others within the healthcare ecosystem? How can provider organizations be a good ROI partner, while also fiercely protecting patient privacy and security?
Moxe: A solution for today and the future
I’m thrilled that, thanks in large part to feedback from our customers, we’ve launched a modernized ROI solution that not only provides the technology to automate as many ROI requests as possible, but also provides hand-selected ROI experts to handle those requests that cannot be automated. It’s our hope that our enhanced ROI offerings will not only greatly aid our customers who have expressed a desire for more robust support in this area, but also allow us to determine what additional ROI use cases can be automated and improve our core technology. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog about our approach to modernizing ROI.
Our ROI solution not only sets our customers up to avoid disincentives outlined in the newly proposed rule, but also to adhere to any future rules and regulations that may come into play in the future. (And, if you’ve been in healthcare more than five minutes, you know there will be more rules and regulations in the future).
Our ROI solution was built to be flexible because we plan to partner with our customers for the long haul. As our CEO Dan Wilson recently shared in his look-ahead to 2024, healthcare is a long game. When it comes to ROI, there’s never been a better time to set up a program that meets today’s demands and is designed to meet the needs of the future.
Learn more about our ROI solution to see if it could be a good fit for your organization, or just share how the disincentives could impact your organization, please reach out. We’d love to chat with you!
About the author: Greg Meltzer is Moxe’s Director of Channel Partnerships, working closely with our customers and partners. Prior to joining Moxe, he held roles at athenahealth, PatientPing, and Bamboo Health.