Feds push in­ter­op­er­abil­ity

Health Data Management - - NEWSLINE - —Greg Slabodkin

In­ter­op­er­abil­ity is a top pri­or­ity for the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser­vices and the White House, ac­cord­ing to Kate Goodrich, MD, chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer and di­rec­tor of the CMS Cen­ter for Clin­i­cal Stan­dards and Qual­ity.

There’s “lots of on­go­ing work around in­ter­op­er­abil­ity,” in­clud­ing co­or­di­na­tion with the Of­fice of the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Health IT and the De­part­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs, she said at an HIT Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee meet­ing in Washington.

“We are look­ing very broadly at all of the levers we have within CMS around how we can pro­mote in­ter­op­er­abil­ity,” she added. “There were a num­ber of round­tables held at the White House around this topic, which ac­tu­ally gave us a lot of ter­rific ideas that we are ac­tively ex­plor­ing. You will see some pro­vi­sions in­tended to en­hance the abil­ity for folks to have ac­cess to their data from a pa­tient-centric point of view.” Goodrich said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s frame­work for in­ter­op­er­abil­ity is based on en­sur­ing pa­tients have ac­cess to their health in­for­ma­tion in a se­cure, timely and valu­able man­ner. “You will start to see more from us—as well as from ONC—over the com­ing months around this.”

John Fleming, MD, deputy as­sis­tant sec­re­tary for health tech­nol­ogy re­form, said the ap­proach will in­volve en­hanc­ing “data liq­uid­ity” and giv­ing pa­tients ac­cess to their health in­for­ma­tion so they “can shop for cheaper, more valu­able care.” He added that, with clin­i­cians spend­ing more time en­ter­ing data into elec­tronic health records and less time en­gaged in di­rect pa­tient care, the role of pol­icy is in­tended to help re­duce the doc­u­men­ta­tion bur­den on providers.

As the HITAC makes pol­icy rec­om­men­da­tions, he noted, it should con­sider “how they ap­ply to the in­de­pen­dent prac­ti­tioner—if you can fix it for him or her, then ev­ery­body else will be fine as well.”

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