The “Doc Fix” got most of the coverage when Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), but the bill also established numerous requirements and deadlines with respect to achieving interoperability with health information technology. For starters, MACRA declares that the exchange of health information through interoperable electronic health records is a “national objective” and sets a July 1, 2016 deadline for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish metrics to determine whether the interoperability objective has been achieved. Next, MACRA says that interoperability must be achieved by December 31, 2018, and if it isn’t, the Secretary will have some explaining to do. Ultimately, MACRA’s impact on interoperability will depend largely on the implementation regulations the Secretary adopts. Based on what we’ve seen so far from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in its Report to Congress Health Information Blocking and the draft Interoperability Roadmap, we expect the interoperability regulatory regime to focus on:

  • Technical Interoperability
  • Data Interoperability
  • Information Blocking
  • Reasonable Restrictions

A more detailed discussion on MACRA’s impact on interoperability is available here.