Experts say that many health insurers are not on track to meet the impending July 2021 and January 2022 deadlines for implementing HHS’s interoperability final rule under the 21st Century Cures Act, a problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they also say organizations that have been proactive about building up their technological capacity are in a position to make substantial gains in their analytics capabilities and relationships with members.
The HHS final rule, which was published in May, requires insurers that sell Medicare Advantage, Medicaid and CHIP managed care, and Affordable Care Act exchange plans to launch an application programming interface (API) that will allow patients to access their complete medical and claims history on demand along with a continually updated provider directory by July 2021. Payers must also make all of their patient and claims data available to other insurers on a payer-to-payer data exchange, which must be in place by January 2022. Those deadlines were both extended this summer, as health care stakeholders have been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.