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21st Century Cures Act - An Open Letter

Published on 3/9/2020

March 9, 2020

The Honorable Alex Azar
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Don Rucker, M.D.
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Seema Verma
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Sec. Azar, Dr. Rucker & Ms. Verma,

Congratulations on releasing the 21st Century Cures Act final rules on interoperability and data blocking, conditions of certification and updates to the 2015 Edition Certification Program. Today marks an important milestone in our decades-long pursuit of improved consumer access to personal health data and the clearing of unnecessary hurdles that have, for far too long, stood in the way of meaningful information-sharing.

As you know, Cerner has been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for all efforts –government-initiated and privately led – to create a seamless and connected world where everyone thrives. As a global health care community, we move closer to this vision by embracing progress, encouraging innovation, and supporting collaboration in pursuit of better outcomes, lower costs and improved accessibility and usability of technology.

Fundamentally, we believe health care is too important to stay the same. That is why we ardently support the conditions of certification included in today’s rules announcement. The APIs envisioned already are widely used at Cerner today, and we’re encouraged by the breakthrough innovation that broad-scale data sharing makes possible. Through our many and varied collaborations with third-party developers and others who have used data to build powerful applications that help clinicians get and keep our communities healthier, we at Cerner have seen first-hand the incredible scale that responsible information-sharing enables. We look forward to those organizations who have been slower to this realization fully embracing the power of patient-centered health care as the implementation period brings this welcome new era to pass.

Cerner is committed to relentlessly seeking breakthrough innovation that shapes tomorrow’s health care. We’re focused on improving health care for everyone and recognize that one of the most powerful levers we have to achieve this goal is an informed, engaged and empowered health care consumer. With your leadership and partnership, we are one step closer to healthier communities around the world.


Brent Shafer
Cerner Chairman & CEO