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Mar 29

21st Century Cures Act & What It Means for Your Practice

As a healthcare provider, you’ve likely heard some talk about the 21st Century Cures Act. You also may be confused about exactly what this law is, and what it means to you and your practice. The good news is that the Cures Act sets a lot of important improvements in motion for the healthcare industry overall, and the better news is that your requirements under the Cures Act are really fairly simple. Let’s explore.

What is the 21st Century Cures Act?

Signed into law on December 13, 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act was designed to revolutionize the healthcare industry and how it approaches research, development of drugs and medical devices, care delivery, and information sharing. Many lawmakers praised the importance of this bipartisan law, passed by a Republican controlled congress and signed by Democratic president Barack Obama, due to the widespread actions it brings.

While this Act became law six years ago, its implementation was set to take place over a prolonged period of time so as not to overwhelm stakeholders. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, some facets of the law were delayed and are just not starting to take effect.

What are the main benefits of the Cures Act?

While the impact of the Cures Act is wide and varied, it can be boiled down to six main benefits:

  • Drug and medical device development and delivery will be streamlined
  • Research into serious illnesses will be accelerated
  • Mental health services will be improved
  • Opioid crisis will be addressed
  • Interoperability will be advanced
  • Information sharing with patients will be increased

Each of these benefits affect different stakeholders in the healthcare industry in different ways.

What does your practice need to do?

The average medical practice essentially has two main responsibilities to be in Cures Act compliance. First, it’s imperative that your practice is prepared to share your patients’ information with them at any time that it’s requested. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the valid exemptions to information sharing. To be sure you’re not participating in information blocking, document all requests for information and when you shared the information. If you were unable to complete the request, document what the valid exemption was.

Second, practices must update to a Cures edition certified software as soon as possible. This software will ensure that you are able to be in compliance with Cures Act requirements. EHRs were to be certified by the end of 2022 for Cures Act; check to make sure your current vendor has met that deadline and if they haven’t you may need to switch vendors.

At MicroMD, we are proud to have attained 2015 Cures Edition certification for our MicroMD EMR. Our clients can be confident that their software will allow them to successfully meet the secure information sharing and interoperability goals laid out by the 21st Century Cures Act. Specifically, providers will be able to provide patient information through the Henry Schein Secure Chart Patient Portal as they have in the past, however now with our FHIR API, practices can also choose a third party app that will allow them to securely automate information sharing with patients straight from the EMR with no need to manually publish records.

To make sure you’re updated to the latest edition of MicroMD, or if you’re not a current client but are looking to switch to a 2015 Cures Edition certified system, visit or call 1-800-624-8832.

About the author,
Crystal Stanton

Crystal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. Content creation, social media management, and SEO optimization are just a few of her areas of concentration as she seeks to educate clients and prospects alike about the simple, customizable, and connected solutions we offer at MicroMD.

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