Health care providers are main source of information blocking complaints

211 possible cases involving hospitals and physicians have been reported through the ONC portal

The 21st Century Cures Act standardized the process for the public to report claims of possible information blocking, which is a practice by a health IT developer that is likely to interfere with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information.

The Office of the National Coordinator has created a standardized process for the public to report claims of possible information blocking via a portal, which launched April 5, 2021. Since that time, 274 cases of possible information blocking have been reported.

Of these claims, 174 were filed by patients, 42 by attorneys on behalf of patients, and 32 by health providers, with the rest coming from IT developers or third parties. Of those suspected of information blocking, 211 are health care providers and 42 are IT developers. Provider is defined by ONC as a hospital, health facility, or physician, among others.

According to ONC, any claim it receives is simply an allegation that information blocking has occurred. Where a claim alleges or suggests that conduct implicating the information blocking definition in 45 CFR 171.103 could possibly have occurred, any determination as to whether an information blocking actor’s conduct met the information blocking definition or not would require a fact-based, case-by-case investigation and review against all elements of the information blocking definition.

To learn more about the information blocking definition and all of its elements, go to https://healthit.gov/informationblocking. Resources available include fact sheets, recorded webinars, and frequently asked questions about the information blocking regulations.