Information Blocking

"Am I an Actor?"

Gravely Group has developed an Information Blocking Decision Tool to assist individuals and entities who may be impacted by the Information Blocking Regulations promulgated by the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) in their Final Rule, 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, published in May 2020. Gravely Group developed the Information Blocking Decision Tool primarily with “Actors” in mind (i.e., those who are prohibited from engaging in information blocking). However, we also believe it to be a useful tool for everyone who engages (or wishes to engage) with Actors for purposes of accessing, exchanging, and/or using electronic health information (EHI). The question is not whether you or your organization will be impacted by the Information Blocking Regulations but how you or your organization will be impacted.

The Information Blocking Decision Tool begins with the analysis: "Am I an Actor?" We wanted to make this portion of the Information Blocking Decision Tool available to anyone free of charge because we want everyone to understand what role they have in relation to the Information Blocking Regulations. Even if you find that you are likely not an Actor, you will probably discover that you engage with Actors, making this analysis and the complete Information Blocking Decision Tool relevant to you, as well.

Section I: Am I Subject to the Information Blocking Regulations Promulgated by ONC?

Am I an Actor?
Why is this important? You need to know if you are an Actor and subject to the Information Blocking Rule. In some cases, such as for healthcare providers, the answer is a pretty straightforward “yes.” For organizations that develop or offer health IT, the answer is more complicated and requires some attention. For organizations that are engaged in the exchange of health information, the answer can also be pretty complicated and requires careful analysis. This is why we begin the Decision Tool with the question: “Am I an Actor?”

  1. Are you a healthcare provider?

  1. Do you develop or offer certified health IT?

  1. Are you a health information network (HIN) or health information exchange (HIE)?
  1. Are you involved in the use of any technology or services that enables access, exchange, or use of Electronic Health Information (EHI) (unofficial definition available here) among more than two other unaffiliated individuals or entities?
  2. Do you exercise control, influence, or have the discretion to administer that technology or service or the access, exchange, or use of EHI via that technology or service?
  3. Is any part of that access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI) for treatment, payment, or healthcare operations, regardless whether you are a Covered Entity or Business Associate under HIPAA?
  4. Do you have control over any “interoperability elements” (unofficial definition available here)?

So, Are You an Actor? – Recap:

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Information Blocking Decision Tool