CMS launches new pilot program to provide patients access to their health data

health data

CMS introduced a new pilot program for clinicians focusing on data. Dubbed Data at the Point of Care (DPC), it was announced at the White House Blue Button Developers Conference and is part of CMS’ MyHealthEData initiative to provide patients with digital access to their health information.

The program gives clinicians access to claims data through Medicare’s Blue Button, in an effort to fill information gaps and offer a more complete picture of a patient’s health and history.

“The sharing of data and interoperability underpin this entire move to value in healthcare and innovation. Without access to their own data, patients lack the information — and therefore the power and ability — to shop around for services,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a speech at the conference on July 30.

Established by CMS last year, Blue Button 2.0 creates a claims-based API for Medicare beneficiaries, allowing them to connect their data to apps and other tools created by developers.

“Clinicians will be able to access the DPC pilot data directly within their workflow, without needing to log into another application,” the announcement reads.

The clinicians in the pilot will be able to request the claims data of a Medicare beneficiary from CMS to get a “full snapshot of their care,” including data from other providers where the patient has received care. The data will be accessible through an industry-standard API using Health Level 7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard, which is a popular interoperability protocol.

“Technology, coupled with open data sharing, is how we will improve value, control costs and keep patients healthy while ensuring a solvent Medicare program for generations to come,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.