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e-CFR data is current as of February 25, 2021

Title 45Subtitle ASubchapter DPart 171Subpart B → §171.204


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 171—INFORMATION BLOCKING
Subpart B—Exceptions That Involve Not Fulfilling Requests to Access, Exchange, or Use Electronic Health Information


§171.204   Infeasibility exception—When will an actor's practice of not fulfilling a request to access, exchange, or use electronic health information due to the infeasibility of the request not be considered information blocking?

An actor's practice of not fulfilling a request to access, exchange, or use electronic health information due to the infeasibility of the request will not be considered information blocking when the practice meets one of the conditions in paragraph (a) of this section and meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section.

(a) Conditions—(1) Uncontrollable events. The actor cannot fulfill the request for access, exchange, or use of electronic health information due to a natural or human-made disaster, public health emergency, public safety incident, war, terrorist attack, civil insurrection, strike or other labor unrest, telecommunication or internet service interruption, or act of military, civil or regulatory authority.

(2) Segmentation. The actor cannot fulfill the request for access, exchange, or use of electronic health information because the actor cannot unambiguously segment the requested electronic health information from electronic health information that:

(i) Cannot be made available due to an individual's preference or because the electronic health information cannot be made available by law; or

(ii) May be withheld in accordance with §171.201.

(3) Infeasible under the circumstances. (i) The actor demonstrates, prior to responding to the request pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, through a contemporaneous written record or other documentation its consistent and non-discriminatory consideration of the following factors that led to its determination that complying with the request would be infeasible under the circumstances:

(A) The type of electronic health information and the purposes for which it may be needed;

(B) The cost to the actor of complying with the request in the manner requested;

(C) The financial and technical resources available to the actor;

(D) Whether the actor's practice is non-discriminatory and the actor provides the same access, exchange, or use of electronic health information to its companies or to its customers, suppliers, partners, and other persons with whom it has a business relationship;

(E) Whether the actor owns or has control over a predominant technology, platform, health information exchange, or health information network through which electronic health information is accessed or exchanged; and

(F) Why the actor was unable to provide access, exchange, or use of electronic health information consistent with the exception in §171.301.

(ii) In determining whether the circumstances were infeasible under paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section, it shall not be considered whether the manner requested would have:

(A) Facilitated competition with the actor.

(B) Prevented the actor from charging a fee or resulted in a reduced fee.

(b) Responding to requests. If an actor does not fulfill a request for access, exchange, or use of electronic health information for any of the reasons provided in paragraph (a) of this section, the actor must, within ten business days of receipt of the request, provide to the requestor in writing the reason(s) why the request is infeasible.

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