- CMS Administrator Seema Verma has announced the organization’s new Data-Driven Patient Care Strategy, which will enhance patient-centered care by improving patient data access and exchange.
The strategy builds on CMS’s efforts to use the power of data to inform patients’ healthcare decisions and transform the healthcare system.
“We know we can’t achieve value-based care until we put the patient at the center of our healthcare system,” Verma said.
“The Data Driven Patient Care Strategy will empower patients with the information they need as consumers of healthcare to enable them to make informed decisions about the care they need. Ultimately, the cornerstone of a patient-centered system is data—quality data, cost data and a patient’s own data.”
The newly unveiled strategy is part of the MyHealthEData Initiative, which was announced in March 2018. MyHealthEData aims to help patients access and share their medical data at every step of the healthcare process, while also ensuring that their information is secure and private.
The Data-Driven Patient Care Strategy will operate on three key principles: Putting patients first, making more data available, and taking an application programming interface (API) approach to sharing data securely and safely with CMS partners.
“We’re going to take every opportunity we can to drive hard on this issue to increase interoperability. We’re going to use every lever we can to drive towards that goal,” Verma told HealthITAnalytics.com in a recent interview about the agency’s proposals to promote interoperability and patient data access.
CMS also announced that Medicare Advantage data is now available to researchers for the first time, and that the information will be updated annually. Making the data public will further promote data-driven innovation in healthcare and allow researchers to better understand Medicare Advantage services.
CMS will expand data to researchers starting with the 2015 Medicare Advantage encounter data. This information will provide researchers with a more complete picture of Medicare Advantage services.
CMS also plans to release data from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) next year, which will help facilitate research and drive innovation and competition in healthcare. Ultimately, CMS expects that making this data available will help providers and patients make more informed clinical decisions.
The Data-Driven Patient Strategy expands on several ongoing initiatives CMS introduced earlier this year, including Blue Button 2.0, which provides Medicare beneficiaries access to their own claims data in a universal, secure, digital format.
The new strategy also builds on the organization’s recent announcement to rename the EHR Incentive Programs to the Promoting Interoperability programs. As part of the rebranding effort, CMS will focus the program requirements on EHR interoperability and giving patients electronic access to their health data.
These programs and initiatives aim to put patients in control of their own health data, and to make healthcare data more useful to consumers.
“Data has the potential to help produce better, more targeted treatments for patients, improving their quality of life while at the same time reducing costs,” Verma said.
For more information on the Data-Driven Patient Strategy, or to request encounter data, click here.