US ONC issues enforcement discretion for Cures Act

The US Office of the National Coordination for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued an enforcement discretion to relax ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking’ and ONC’s ‘Health IT Certification Program Final Rule’ (Cures Act Final Rule). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ONC announced to ‘exercise its discretion in enforcing all new requirements under 45 CFR Part 170 that have compliance dates and timeframes until 3 months after each initial compliance date or timeline identified in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule’. The announcement notes that the flexibility will help healthcare systems to focus on responding to COVID-19, while maintaining a course that will improve patients’ access to their health information, reduce the cost of care, and improve the quality of care.