CMS Announces Data at the Point of Care Pilot to Advance Interoperability

Samara Rosenfeld
JULY 30, 2019
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In a push to put health data in the hands of patients and providers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced a new pilot program called Data at the Point of Care, which could help accelerate healthcare’s transformation to a value-based model.

Data at the Point of Care could help accelerate the transformation of the healthcare system becoming more value-based. The pilot program will leverage Medicare’s Blue Button data to provide physicians with access to claims data. Blue Button was designed to make it easy for patients to download their personal health information to a file.

CMS believes the claims data could fill information gaps and give physicians a more complete look at a patient’s medical history. Claims data contains information about previous diagnoses, past procedures and medication lists.

Physicians may access the pilot data directly within their workflow, which the agency claims will reduce burden and give clinicians more time to deliver quality care to patients.

“This pilot program is another example of how the Trump Administration is doing everything possible to bring our healthcare system into the 21st century,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH. “Technology, coupled with open data sharing, is how we will improve value, control costs and keep patients healthy, while ensure a solvent Medicare program for generations to come.”

The pilot is based on an industry-standard application programming interface (API) and is part of the MyHealthEData agency-wide initiative led by the White House Office of American Innovation. Launched in March 2018, the initiative is a push to free electronic health records from health insurers and provide information to patients. MyHealthEData is meant to give every American access to their medical information so they can make more informed decisions about their care.

The announcement is just one of the agency’s many pushes over the past year to achieve interoperability in healthcare.

Last year, CMS launched Blue Button 2.0, which is a Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource-based claims API for Medicare beneficiaries. Blue Button 2.0 is designed for beneficiaries to securely connect their data to apps and tools.

And in February, the agency proposed the Interoperability and Patient Access rule, which would require all health plans regulated by the rule to make patient data available through an API.

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