Policy & Regulation News

NATE Praises MACRA Protocol for Patient Access to Health Data

These MACRA provisions which call for more patient access to health data will help make patients part of their own care teams.

By Sara Heath

- The National Association for Trusted Exchange is pleased with CMS’s patient-centered provisions included in the MACRA legislation, specifically those which advocate for patient access to health data.


In a public statement, NATE noted the benefit Advancing Care Information, the newest component of MACRA, will have on patient access to health data. Through various patient engagement requirements, Advancing Care Information will ideally help promote patients’ roles as members of their care teams.

“NATE is pleased to see that CMS is poised to reward providers for increasing their options for achieving electronic communication with their patients,” the announcement said.

“The proposed MACRA Advancing Care Information (ACI) performance category’s base score determination not only requires that providers demonstrate that they can share information with their patients through secure messaging, it also requires providers to allow patients to access their own information using any consumer-facing application (CFA) of their choice through an API.”

The organization also commended the incentives MACRA presents to providers who perform above standard on patient engagement.

“NATE is especially excited by the proposal to award extra performance points to providers who demonstrate more than a minimal commitment to patient access to data, patient engagement and health information exchange,” NATE said. “CMS correctly recognizes that providers who make more of an effort to communicate with their patients should be rewarded for their actions.”

Advancing Patient Information also includes protocol to publicly post patient engagement scores, viewable by all patients. This will help improve hospital transparency, NATE said, and help patients understand the quality of care they may receive at a given hospital.

“Finally, NATE supports the proposal to include Advancing Care Information scores on the Physician Compare website, both positive and negative. Consumers would benefit from seeing exactly how well their providers demonstrate their meaningful use of health IT.”

The new components of the MACRA legislation were announced late last week, and a blog post from CMS leaders Andy Slavitt and Karen DeSalvo detailed the law’s provisions for patient access to health data and patient engagement.

Some are more critical of legislation than NATE is. Earlier this week, industry expert Michael Mellinson called on his industry peers to submit public comment to CMS asking them to implement more robust, or at least clearer, requirements for patient engagement under MACRA.


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