Data Blockers Beware - Annoucement at HIMSS19

By David White

In a bold move up the ladder of electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released two proposed rules February 11 designed to allow patients access to their own records and data – particularly via apps – and provide strong deterrents to those who would block data.

The rules require organizations to adopt open data-sharing technology by 2020 to ensure data can move from one plan to another, by way of patient apps. The agencies also released two requests for information on promoting interoperability and comments on reducing any burden on providers regarding health IT.

CMS and ONC intend to make public the names of providers who block patient information. The requirements would cover Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA plans. With the 44 million individuals under Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 app for patient data access, the proposed rules would add 85 million more Americans to the government’s efforts to provide patients unfettered access, CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated in remarks at the health information technology conference, HIMSS19, in Orlando, Florida, the day after announcing the proposed rules.

At the 2019 Health Care Information and Management Systems Society Conference (HIMSS19)

CMS’ Verma and ONC’s National Coordinator, Donald Rucker, MD, appeared in multiple venues at HIMSS19 to explain and promote the two proposed rules where ASN Policy and Government Affairs staff were present to engage in health care IT discussions and gain a deeper understanding of these rules and the status and progress of other government proposals and programs.  

"We had two big goals. One transcendent goal was to empower patients to control their health care," Dr. Donald Rucker, head of ONC, said during a media briefing Tuesday, adding that modern technology, including the widespread use of smartphones and apps, allows patients to take more control of their care and their data should be readily available.

The proposals clarify how regulators will fight data-blocking by payers, vendors and providers. The ONC rule lays out seven exemptions for withholding information, including preventing patient harm, promoting security of health information and responding to requests that are not feasible.

"The idea that patient data belongs to providers or vendors is an epic misunderstanding. Patient data belongs to patients," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said to a round of applause during a speech Tuesday evening. Verma then declared blocking "a thing of the past."

ASN’s Quality Committee and ASN Policy staff are reviewing these proposed rules and will provide further information for Kidney News Online readers.

Resources:

CMS.gov - CMS Advances Interoperability & Patient Access to health Data through New Proposals

ONC - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Improve the Interoperability of Health Information
 

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David White
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In a bold move up the ladder of electronic health record (EHR) interoperability, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released two proposed rules February 11 designed to allow patients access to their own records and data – particularly via apps – and provide strong deterrents to those who would block data.

The rules require organizations to adopt open data-sharing technology by 2020 to ensure data can move from one plan to another, by way of patient apps. The agencies also released two requests for information on promoting interoperability and comments on reducing any burden on providers regarding health IT.

CMS and ONC intend to make public the names of providers who block patient information. The requirements would cover Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP, and ACA plans. With the 44 million individuals under Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 app for patient data access, the proposed rules would add 85 million more Americans to the government’s efforts to provide patients unfettered access, CMS Administrator Seema Verma stated in remarks at the health information technology conference, HIMSS19, in Orlando, Florida, the day after announcing the proposed rules.

At the 2019 Health Care Information and Management Systems Society Conference (HIMSS19)

CMS’ Verma and ONC’s National Coordinator, Donald Rucker, MD, appeared in multiple venues at HIMSS19 to explain and promote the two proposed rules where ASN Policy and Government Affairs staff were present to engage in health care IT discussions and gain a deeper understanding of these rules and the status and progress of other government proposals and programs.  

"We had two big goals. One transcendent goal was to empower patients to control their health care," Dr. Donald Rucker, head of ONC, said during a media briefing Tuesday, adding that modern technology, including the widespread use of smartphones and apps, allows patients to take more control of their care and their data should be readily available.

The proposals clarify how regulators will fight data-blocking by payers, vendors and providers. The ONC rule lays out seven exemptions for withholding information, including preventing patient harm, promoting security of health information and responding to requests that are not feasible.

"The idea that patient data belongs to providers or vendors is an epic misunderstanding. Patient data belongs to patients," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said to a round of applause during a speech Tuesday evening. Verma then declared blocking "a thing of the past."

ASN’s Quality Committee and ASN Policy staff are reviewing these proposed rules and will provide further information for Kidney News Online readers.

Resources:

CMS.gov - CMS Advances Interoperability & Patient Access to health Data through New Proposals

ONC - Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Improve the Interoperability of Health Information
 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019