Feds push interoperability
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.”