CMS is Committed to Innovation to Eliminate Inefficiencies in Healthcare

Posted on Monday, July 23, 2018 12:16 PM

Seema Verma, Administrator for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, wrote this week about the importance of technology and innovation in healthcare.  CMS believes we need to change the system to make it about the patient and for the patient.

“CMS is committed to leveraging innovation to truly empower patients with their own data, decisions, and care. Evidence of this commitment can be found in a government-wide initiative launched by CMS and the White House Office of Innovation in March called MyHealthEData— designed to achieve true patient control and interoperability of their health records, and to enable patients to share their data with technology innovators and researchers to accelerate public health” says Verma.  She goes on to say “At CMS we are putting patients first, and we are moving to break down silos of patient information that is being captured by the system and depriving the patient the access to the best quality, and most affordable care. Sustaining our exceptional healthcare depends now more than ever on driving down costs, and a major part of the CMS strategy to drive down costs depends on smart and innovative use of information technology (IT).  Through MyHealthEData, CMS envisions a future in which all patients have access to their own health data and use it to make the right decisions for themselves and to get the best value. We see health IT systems that work seamlessly with each other, and a government that supports secure data sharing and emerging technologies so that healthcare in America is better and less expensive.”

To achieve these goals, CMS has created a new position, Chief Health Informatics Officer (CHIO).  The CHIO will drive health IT and data sharing to enhance healthcare delivery, improve health outcomes, drive down costs, and empower patients. Through this new function, CMS will effectively engage stakeholders from all parts of the healthcare market, including our Federal partners and industry leaders.

She concludes her comments with “The truth is, as the largest healthcare payer in the country, CMS should have had a CHIO function long ago. Despite today’s amazing technology and decades of promises, we are not where we should be. The CHIO role will enhance my leadership team, working across CMS, with federal partners including the U.S. Digital Service, and alongside private industry and researchers to lead innovation and help inform CMS’s health IT strategy. The challenge is great, but so is the reward—building the next generation of interoperable health systems for millions of Americans and affecting national and global health IT for good.  “

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