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CMS launches MyHealthEData and Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0

March 07, 2018

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced two initiatives aimed at empowering patients by giving them access and control of their own medical data.

  • MyHealthEData is an initiative led by the White House Office of American Innovation with participation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including its CMS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and National Institutes of Health, as well as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The initiative is intended to provide patients with electronic access to their own health records and empowers them to share that information safely and securely with providers of their choice.
  • Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 is an initiative to provide Medicare beneficiaries with their medical claims data in a universal and secure digital format. This is an upgrade from the 2010 launch of Blue Button, which gave patients access to a downloadable PDF file of their claims. Version 2.0 allows beneficiaries to share that data with providers of their choice or on applications designed to assist them in managing their health. 

Both initiatives shed light on a critical issue for hospitals and their physicians engaging in innovative payment and care delivery designs, which is access to data about their patients when they are receiving services inside or outside of their system. While hospitals typically have access to what happens within their system walls, technology and data are needed to understand what happens when patients receive care outside of the organization.

HAP supports CMS’ goal of enhancing access to data and empowering the patient, and it urges better connectivity across the health care continuum from providers and insurers alike in order to improve care and engage patients. 

HAP is currently engaged in work to enhance provider participation in health information organizations (HIO) across the state. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has reported that only 40 percent of licensed hospitals in the state currently participate in the five regional HIOs. HIOs are one avenue to receive encounter notifications that transmit admission, discharge, transfer (ADT) information to alert care managers when their patients are receiving care and for what.

Through HAP’s work with the statewide health information exchange, Pennsylvania eHealth Partnership, and the regional health information organizations, several goals have been set that support improving access to data for care coordination. The two goals are:

  • To enable the exchange of ADT data across certified regional health information organizations by December 31, 2017
  • To increase the number of general acute care hospitals participating in regional HIOs by July 1, 2018

Access the fact sheet for more information on MyHealthEData and Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0.

For additional information regarding HAP’s efforts on state-wide connectivity, please contact Mike Consuelos, HAP’s senior vice president, clinical integration.

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