CHA News Article

CMS Announces Initiative to Expand Patient Access to Health Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new initiative, MyHealthEData, intended to ensure patients have access to and control of their full health care records. The initiative will provide Medicare beneficiaries with access to their claims data in a universal and secure digital format through Blue Button 2.0, which will make the data available in the application of a patient’s choice. CMS encourages private plans to provide patients with the same data, and will re-examine its expectations for Medicare Advantage plans and qualified health plans offered under federally facilitated exchanges.

In addition, CMS announced it intends to streamline electronic health record (EHR) reporting requirements for hospitals under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive programs and the physician Quality Payment Program. The agency also plans to streamline documentation and billing requirements, and will prioritize quality measures that lead to interoperability. Finally, CMS will take additional steps to prevent information blocking and will specify information that must be shared  — ideally electronically — by hospitals upon discharge with a patient’s post-acute care facility. Additional information is available in a CMS fact sheet