Cures Act Information

Understanding the rule

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (the “ONC”) issued a final rule on Information Blocking, which implements the 21st Century Cures Act effective in 2021 (the “Rule”). The Rule changes how some healthcare providers share electronic health information (referred herein as “PHI”).

The American Dental Association (“ADA”) has issued a Fact Sheet     regarding Information Blocking and Interoperability.[1] As the ADA explains:
  • Dentists or others subject to the Rule are not required to have or use health IT certified under
    the ONC Health IT Certification Program.  Those who are participating in a separate regulatory program that requires the use of certified health IT, such as CMS’ Promoting Interoperability Programs, will not be required to immediately upgrade their certified health IT.
  • The Rule does not require PHI to be held in or shared using specific technology, or particular
    technical standards.
  • While certified health IT developers will be required to make PHI exports available by
    December 31, 2023, there is no requirement that developers be certified, or that dentists
    and other providers use certified health IT.
  • If a vendor does not provide PHI export through a patient portal or some other means,
    dentists may still provide the requested information in a readily available format, such as a PDF printout.

Patterson Dental and the Cures Act

While Patterson offers no certified products subject to the Rule, it continues to work with its customers to comply with evolving federal and state patient health data initiatives.  Patterson provides access to PHI pursuant to applicable state and federal law – such as HIPAA – and contractual arrangements with its customers. Send requests related to access to PHI held by Patterson via email.

For additional information on Patterson software functionality for dentists to share PHI, please see FAQ 40845 Cures Act – How to Export PHI.

This is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.  The information is in response to questions Patterson has received from customers about the Cures Act.  The information is not intended to be exhaustive and may not reflect recent changes to the Rule or other regulations.  You should not act on the basis of any information contained herein without obtaining proper legal or other professional advice specific to your situation.

[1] Source:     (last accessed April 19, 2022).