March 10, 2020 - U.S. Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after the Trump Administration released two final electronic health record rules:
"These rules are a continuation of the effort to make electronic health records systems work so patients have access to their own medical records. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these two rules should give more than 125 million patients easier access to their own records in an electronic format. These new rules also stop information blocking - so it is clear when one system is purposefully not sharing information with another - which is detrimental to patients being able to access, use, and share their own records. While I am reviewing these rules to ensure they do not go too far, too fast, I am glad they have been made final to give patients more control over their records and doctors more information so they can better treat their patients."
The Senate health committee had six hearings in 2015 to explore ways to get our nation's system of health information technology out of a ditch and make it useful for doctors and patients. The committee then authored the 21st Century Cures Act which directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make proposals to improve electronic health records. Today, HHS released two final rules to define information blocking--so it is clear when one system is purposefully not sharing information with another - and to give patients more control over their electronic health records. The committee held two hearings, in March 2019 and May 2019, on the proposed rules.