Electronic Exchange Requirements Move Closer to Reality

After several COVID-related delays, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has set a December 31 deadline for the healthcare industry to support apps that store records electronically, such as Apple Health. This is part of the 21st Century Cures Act, and it works both ways: Health IT developers will need standardized APIs and FHIR technology to support data exchange and interoperability, and providers will be expected to use APIs and FHIR technology. Patients won’t be required to use apps, but medical offices will at least have to support electronic exchanges using the FHIR standards. What remains to be seen is how this will be enforced.