The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced changes aimed at further protecting and strengthening Medicare by putting the power of data in the hands of patients and the clinicians who treat them. 

Announced at the White House’s Blue Button Developers Conference (BBDC), the “Data at the Point of Care” program (DPC) is based on an industry-standard application programming interface (API), and is part of the MyHealthEData Administration-wide initiative led by the White House Office of American Innovation, designed to give every American access to their medical information.

The DPC pilot program also aims to transform healthcare delivery by leveraging Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 data to provide clinicians with access to claims data, filling in information gaps for clinicians, giving a more structured and complete patient history with information like previous diagnoses, past procedures, and medication lists. Clinicians will be able to access the DPC pilot data directly within their workflow, without needing to log into another application. This in turn will reduce burden in the exam room and give clinicians more time to deliver high-quality care for their patients.  

“This pilot program is another example of how the Trump administration is doing everything possible to bring our healthcare system into the 21st century,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a press release. “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.”

Currently, patient information often becomes trapped within health system siloes, preventing patients from accessing their complete health information aggregated into one usable health record, creating problems for patients during visits with providers looking to obtain complete medical history. 

#PNN_Doctor touching on digital tablet screen

Clinicians participating in the DPC pilot program will be allowed to request a Medicare beneficiary’s claims data from CMS to get a full snapshot of their care including from other healthcare providers the beneficiary has seen for care. This will be done through a developer-friendly, industry-standard API using Health Level 7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard. 

Clinicians who are interested in participating in the DPC pilot program can sign up Here. Beneficiaries who wish to opt out of data sharing can do so by calling 1-800-Medicare.

For more information on Blue Button, Click Here.

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