The agency announced a new MyHealthEData offshoot that will drive provider and patient data access.
CMS is upping the ante for better provider and patient data access by expanding the MyHealthEData initiative and promoting widespread health information sharing, the agency recently announced.
The MyHealthEData, launched in March of 2018 as a part of CMS presentations at that year’s HIMSS conference, represented the agency’s efforts to drive better patient data access and ownership over one’s data. This latest announcement builds on those efforts and promotes provider access to patient data, as well.
The Data at the Point of Care (DPC) pilot program aims to connect providers with Blue Button data, or a set of claims data that CMS makes available to beneficiaries. This will allow providers to look at previous patient diagnoses, past procedures, and medication lists.
This data was previously kept in siloes, CMS noted, and providers were often left to comb through different data archives to find the requisite information to make an informed treatment decision.
The DPC program aims to cut down on that burden by making data access easier, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.
“This pilot program is another example of how the Trump Administration is doing everything possible to bring our healthcare system into the 21st century,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “Technology, coupled with open data sharing, is how we will improve value, control costs and keep patients healthy while ensuring a solvent Medicare program for generations to come.”
Using the common application programming interface FHIR, CMS will make the information available to providers directly on their EHRs following provider request. The agency did not indicate whether systems could generate patient data immediately following request or if requests would instead undergo a vetting period.
The DPC program comes as a part of the entire MyHealthEData program, an initiative that CMS launched last year to promote better patient data access.
“MyHealthEData will help to break down the barriers that prevent patients from having electronic access and true control of their own health records from the device or application of their choice,” CMS wrote in a press release following the 2018 launch. “Patients will be able to choose the provider that best meets their needs and then give that provider secure access to their data, leading to greater competition and reducing costs.”
During that same press conference, CMS also announced the relaunch of the Blue Button Initiative, which granted patient access to a repository of their own health claims data, also allowing patients to send that information to entities of their choosing and to plug that information into any healthcare apps they may use.
Since the launch of Blue Button 2.0, over 2,000 health IT developers have created applications that work with Blue Button 2.0 sample data, CMS reported.
CMS has since revamped the MyHealthEData program, announcing proposed data sharing and interoperability rules prior to the 2019 HIMSS shows. Specifically, CMS advocated for patients accessing their own digital medical records and transmitting that data to authorized family members, caretakers, providers, or researchers.
“This is just the beginning of a digital data revolution that truly empowers the American patient,” Verma said in a press call before HIMSS. “Together, these two groundbreaking rules ensure Americans have access to their medical records in a digital format, increase the seamless flow of information, reduce burden on patients and providers, and foster innovation by unleashing data for researchers and other innovators.”
These moves come as an overall push from CMS to promote better patient data access and healthcare interoperability. Agency officials have emphasized their commitment to put healthcare and health data into the hands of the patient and to empower patients to take control of their own health.
In addition to granting better patient data access, CMS has worked to drive better data sharing, specifically by targeting information blocking. In the 2019 proposed MyHealthEData updates, CMS outlined a plan to target and enforce information blocking regulations.
In doing so, the agency aims to ensure both patients and providers have the requisite medical information that will equip them both to make informed healthcare decisions.
Date: August 2, 2019
Source: Patient Engagement Hit