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Blue Button® 2.0: Improving Medicare Beneficiary Access to Their Health Information

Developers interested in connecting applications to the Blue Button 2.0 API should visit the developer site.

For more information about Blue Button services for Medicare beneficiaries, please visit Medicare.gov.

Mission

The mission of the Blue Button 2.0 project is to enhance CMS’ current Blue Button service to provide a developer-friendly, standards-based data Application Programming Interface (API) that enables beneficiaries to connect their Medicare claims data to the applications, services, and research programs they trust.

Background

The Blue Button service was established in 2010 as a joint effort of CMS and the Veteran’s Administration. Since that time, Blue Button has been used by more than one million beneficiaries to download their CMS information via the MyMedicare.gov portal.

The current text and PDF downloadable files, while relatively easy to read, become challenging when handling large amounts of data, or converting the content into reusable data for further analysis.

As digital health care evolves, data becomes an important resource that patients can use to improve health outcomes for themselves, and as part of research groups. This drives the need for easier data interoperability.

Blue Button, the slogan, ‘Download My Data,’ the Blue Button Logo, and the Blue Button Combined Logo are registered service marks owned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Additional References

The following webpages provide additional information and context for the CMS Blue Button® API.

HL7® FHIR® Health Level Seven's Fast Health Interoperable Resources (FHIR) RESTful API resource

OAuth 2.0 Information about OAuth 2.0, the industry-standard protocol for authorization.

SMART on FHIR SMART on FHIR is a set of open specifications to integrate apps with Electronic Health Records, portals, Health Information Exchanges, and other Health IT systems. This webpage provides documentation that outlines the SMART on FHIR profiles.

HHS OAuth Server A GitHub repository containing an OAuth 2.0 provider and FHIR proxy, implemented in Django. 

Publications and Presentations

Are Federal Health Initiatives on FHIR?

HL7’s Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR) framework has caught the imagination of developers by offering a developer-friendly Application Programming Interface (API) and a rich set of simple, but flexible standard data formats… [read more on the HHS IDEA LAB Blog ]

Trusting Health APIs

Trust is the basis for all interactions in the health care world. One big challenge is to create trust without becoming intrusive or limiting. This issue of trust has been a critical component as we design the next generation of Blue Button service for Medicare beneficiaries… [read more on the HHS IDEA LAB Blog]

Unleashing the Power of Personal Health Data

The former Entrepreneur-in-Residence explains his motivation for taking on the challenge of creating the next generation of Blue Button service at CMS and his personal mission to promote patient empowerment... [read more on the HHS IDEA LAB Blog]