CMS Announces Transformational Patient-Centric Healthcare Initiatives

Posted on Friday, March 9, 2018 9:13 PM

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma announced several new initiatives this week at HIMSS18, that will put patients at the center of the US Healthcare System, empowering them to have control of their healthcare information and make informed decision about their health and care. By ensuring patients have access to their full records and can take them with them, it will increase competition and reduce costs.

System improvements include an overhaul of meaningful use and EHR Incentive Programs as well as new data initiatives including the new MYHealthEData and Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0.

The MyHealthEData initiative is a government-wide project aimed at giving patients more control over their health information. The initiative is in response to an Executive Order from President Trump last year to Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.

Today, as patients move in and out of the healthcare system and receive services, they can’t easily take their data with them. This includes essential records, test results and basic information about the providers who treat them. MyHealthEData aims to empower patients by ensuring that their control their healthcare data and can decide how their data is going to be used, all while keeping that information safe and secure. MyHealthEData is spearheaded by the White House Office of American Innovation, which is directed by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

CMS Administrator Verma also announced the launch of Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0, a new and secure way for Medicare beneficiaries to access and share their personal health data in a universal digital format. Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 will allow a patient to access and share their healthcare information, previous prescriptions, treatments, and procedures with a new doctor which can lead to less duplication in testing and provide continuity of care.

More than 100 organizations, including some of the most notable names in technological innovation, have already signed on to use Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 to develop applications that will provide innovative new tools to help these patients manage their health.

Additionally, CMS intends to overhaul its Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs to refocus the programs on interoperability and to reduce the time and cost required of providers to comply with the programs’ requirements.

The Administrator also highlighted other CMS plans to empower patients with data:

• CMS is requiring providers to update their systems to ensure data sharing.
• CMS intends to require that a patient’s data follow them after they are discharged from the hospital.
• CMS is working to streamline documentation and billing requirements for providers to allow doctors to spend more time with their patients.
• CMS is working to reduce the incidence of unnecessary and duplicative testing which occurs as a result of providers not sharing data.
Verma said the administration is looking for a healthcare ecosystem where data flows freely. “I call on all insurers to give patients their claims data electronically,” Verma said.


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