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What You Need to Know About 21st Century Cures Act Certification Updates

By: Christine Schiff | October 21st, 2020

What You Need to Know About 21st Century Cures Act Certification Updates Blog Feature

In addition to the Information Blocking updates we discussed in a recent blog post, the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule also requires use of Cures Act Edition certified software. This will include some new and revised certification criteria. Providers will need to have their EHR updated with these new requirements in time for the 2022 reporting period. Is your EHR provider ready?

Nextech has already been planning to support our clients in their transition to the new version of certified software. Initial preparation included regular communication with CMS, ONC and the EHR Association from proposal to finalization of the rule. Since the rule was finalized in May 2020, we have done a deep dive into the new requirements and understanding how the changes will affect our clients. We have established a Task Force that is collaborating to model out the changes and create a timeline for deploying the updates. There will be more information to come on the certification process. For now, the below outlines the updated requirements and respective objectives as detailed by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC):

New Certification Criteria

  • 170.315(b)(10) Electronic Health Information (EHI) Export – Support patients’ and healthcare providers’ interests in exporting health information and making information more accessible.
  • 170.315(g)(10) Standardized API for Patient and Population Services – Requires conformance with FHIR® Release 4 standards. Including ability to support services for which a single patient’s data is the focus and for which multiple patients’ data are the focus.

USCDI Updates

Alongside the new application programming interface (API) certification criterion, § 170.315(g)(10), the USCDI standard ultimately replaces the Common Clinical Data Set (CCDS) in the following certification criteria with the objective of broadening the capability to share health information and coordinate patient care:

  • § 170.315(b)(1) Transitions of Care
  • § 170.315(b)(2) Clinical Information Reconciliation and Incorporation
  • § 170.315(e)(1) View, Download, and Transmit to a 3rd Party
  • § 170.315(f)(5) Transmission to Public Health Agencies – Electronic Case Reporting
  • § 170.315(g)(6) Consolidated CDA Creation Performance
  • § 170.315(g)(9) Application Access – All Data Requests
  • § 170.315(g)(10) Standardized API for Patient and Population Services (new certification criterion that also refers to the USCDI)

Revised Standards

The following are standards that will remain in place but will require some minor updates in certification to maintain compliance:

  • 170.315(b)(3) ePrescribing
  • 170.315(c)(3) CQMs – Report
  • 170.315(d)(2) Adjustable Events and Tamper-Resistance
  • 170.315(d)(3) Audit Report(s)
  • 170.315(d)(10) Auditing Actions on Health Information

The regulatory landscape is ever changing. However, collaborating with the right EHR can minimize the impact of these changes on your healthcare organization. Here at Nextech, we aim to ensure your practice remains your primary focus. You can leverage our regulatory expertise and have confidence that we will support you in complying with these requirements. To learn how Nextech’s integrated solutions can help your practice with interoperability and data transparency, or how our team of experts can assist with compliance, fill out this form and we will be in touch soon.