Trump Administration Announces MyHealthEData Initiative at HIMSS18
Putting Patients at the Center of the US Healthcare System
CMS is committed to putting patients first, and that’s why we approach issues with healthcare data from the patient perspective. We must move to a system in which patients have control of their healthcare information in order to empower patients to make informed decisions about their health and care. By ensuring patients have access to their full healthcare records and can take it with them from doctor to doctor, provider to provider, we will increase competition and reduce costs.
Last year President Trump issued an Executive Order to Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States. The President made clear that he wants his administration working to foster competition in healthcare markets, so patients, and the American people, may receive better value for our investments. In response CMS is moving to a system in which patients have control of their data and can be assured it will follow them to each of their healthcare providers.
Expanding Patients Access and Control of Their Data
Today, patients don’t have full control of their own healthcare information. 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.
- Announcing MyHealthEData
The Trump Administration is launching the MyHealthEData initiative which aims to empower patients by ensuring that they control their healthcare data and can decide how their data is going to be used, all while keeping that information safe and secure. The overall government-wide initiative is led by the White House Office of American Innovation with participation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – including its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) – as well as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 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. This effort will approach the issue of healthcare data from the patient’s perspective.
- Giving Medicare Beneficiaries Their Data Through Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0
CMS is launching Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0, which will significantly improve the Medicare beneficiary experience by providing them with their claims data in a universal and secure digital format. Medicare first launched Blue Button in 2010 to give patients access to their claims data in a downloadable PDF file. Now, with Blue Button 2.0, beneficiaries will be able to take their data and use it on applications designed to help them manage their health, or share it with their doctors to improve clinical decision-making. Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 contains four years of Medicare Part A, B and D data for 53 million Medicare beneficiaries and provides multiple types of information including prescriptions and primary care treatments. CMS has recruited more than 100 organizations – including some of the most notable names in technological innovation – to join CMS’ Medicare Blue Button 2.0 developer preview program; we expect more to sign on as Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 is launched to Medicare beneficiaries. The developer preview program allows application developers to build and test apps to connect to Blue Button 2.0 using fake (synthetic) claims data. Medicare’s upgrade to the Blue Button service will enable beneficiaries to give their physicians access to information on their current prescriptions and medical history, to save time during appointments and improve the quality of care delivered.
- Calling on Private Plans to Provide Patients Their Data
CMS will be re-examining its expectations for Medicare Advantage plans and qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through the federally facilitated exchanges, and calling on all health insurers to release their data. CMS believes that the private plans that contract through Medicare Advantage and the exchanges should provide the same benefit that is being provided through Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0.
Encouraging Patient Access Through CMS Programs
CMS is increasing competition and promoting better value by its intent to overhaul CMS’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs to save time and costs.
- Streamlining Meaningful Use and QPP
This includes streamlining the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (commonly referred to as the Meaningful Use programs)and the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for clinicians (part of MACRA) to increase the programs’ focus on interoperability and to reduce the time and cost required to comply with them.
- Prioritizing Quality Measures That Lead to Interoperability
CMS intends to prioritize the use of quality measures and improvement activities in value-based care and quality programs that lead to interoperability.
- Preventing Information Blocking
CMS is also taking steps against information blocking (a practice in which providers prevent patients from getting their data), as required by law by requiring hospitals and clinicians under some CMS programs to show they have not engaged in data blocking activities.
Modernizing Provider Requirements with a Focus on Value-Based Care
CMS is committed to moving away from fee-for-service and toward a system that pays for value. Interoperability will help ensure the success of new payment models that pay for value. All of the providers in a patient’s network will need to coordinate their care for a value-based system to work. That requires data and information to be exchanged in a secure format. CMS is committed to supporting requirements that focus on that goal.
- Requiring Providers to Update Their Systems to Ensure Data Sharing
As part of the effort to ensure that data follows the patient, CMS finalized for some of its programs the requirement for health care providers to use 2015 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) beginning in 2019, which is capable of giving data to patients in a usable and secure electronic format. The updated 2015 Edition CEHRT includes technical requirements focused on interoperability and the ability of patients and their care teams to share healthcare data more effectively through APIs—application programming interfaces. APIs are software that allow other software to connect to one another and are the primary way that data is shared electronically. CMS continues to collaborate with the ONC to improve the clinician experience with EHRs.
- Ensuring Patients Receive Their Data Upon Discharge
In an effort to ensure that healthcare data follows the patient, CMS intends to specify what types of information – ideally in electronic format – must be shared by hospitals with a patient’s receiving facility or post-acute care provider.
The press release can be viewed at: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2018-Press-releases-items/2018-03-06.html
- Streamlining Documentation and Billing Requirements
To make sure that clinicians will spend less time inputting codes and information into EHR systems, and more time with their patients, CMS is considering stakeholder feedback and looking into streamlining its policies around documentation guidelines for Evaluation & Management E&M codes (the codes that doctors use to bill Medicare for patient visits) to modernize documentation requirements and reduce clinician burden.
- Reducing Duplicative Testing
Provider systems typically do not share patients’ data, which can lead to duplicative tests when a patient goes to see a different provider. This increases costs and can lead to patient inconvenience or even harm. CMS is studying the extent and impact of duplicate testing, and will identify ways to reduce the incidence of unnecessary duplicate testing.
- Streamlining Documentation and Billing Requirements