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CMS Calls for Stakeholder Input on MyHealtheData Initiative

The RFI pertains to health IT interoperability under the MyHealtheData initiative, which should improve patient-centered care and patient access to health data.

health data access

By Sara Heath

- CMS has issued a request for information (RFI) about its MyHealtheData program, which was announced earlier this year at the HIMSS18 conference. MyHealtheData calls for better patient access to health data and health IT interoperability.

Specifically, CMS is seeking stakeholder input on how to better facilitate health data interoperability and data exchange between providers. Better health IT interoperability and use of application programming interfaces (APIs) should also aid patient data access, CMS contends.

The RFI also calls for input about revising the conditions of participation for the MyHealtheData initiative.

In addition to the RFI, CMS has proposed changes to a number of payment programs including the Skilled Nursing Facilities Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities Prospective Payment System (IRF PPS), Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update, and Inpatient Psychiatric Facility Prospective Payment System (IPF PPS).

These changes should create administrative simplification, the agency said in a public statement. In turn, providers should have more time to create quality patient-provider relationships.

This is all a part of the agency’s efforts to improve patient-centered care, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

“We envision all elements of CMS’ healthcare delivery system working to reward value over volume and decisively focus on patients receiving quality care from their Medicare benefits,” Verma said in a public statement. “For skilled nursing facilities, we are taking important steps through proposed payment improvements that will reduce administrative burden, and foster innovation to improve care and quality for patients. As people face rising healthcare costs in other clinical settings, we need to leverage advances in technology that help to modernize our programs in a way that benefits patients.”

Earlier this week, CMS announced efforts to improve price transparency for patients. The agency proposed changes to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) that would require hospitals to post their charge lists online for patients to view.

At this week’s Health Datapalooza, Verma noted that each of these moves, as well as the agency’s efforts for patient data access through the MyHealtheData initiative, are critical for the wave of value-based care sweeping the healthcare industry.

“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.”

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