CMS announces two new initiatives: Blue Button 2.0 and MyHealthEData

March 8, 2018 Phil C. Solomon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced two new initiatives: Blue Button 2.0 and MyHealthEData. The purpose of these projects is to empower patients by giving them control of their healthcare data, and make it easier for the data to follow them through their healthcare journey.

This government-wide initiative is led by the White House Office of American Innovation with participation from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will also be a key contributor to this effort.

According to a CMS press release, the MyHealthEData initiative is designed to empower patients around a common aim – giving every American control of their medical data. MyHealthEData will help to break down the barriers that prevent patients from having electronic access and true control of their own health records from the device or application of their choice.

When completed, patients will be able to control their health data, allowing them to share personal health information with trusted partners, such as their doctors and hospitals. Some believe this could lead to greater competition and reducing costs. Proponents of this initiative hope that this will put the patient at the center of the healthcare system.

Blue Button 2.0 will be a secure way for Medicare beneficiaries to access and share their personal health data in a universal digital format. Blue Button 2.0 is the newest iteration of the Blue Button initiative started during the Obama Administration.

This will enable patients who participate in the traditional Medicare program to connect their claims data to the secure applications, providers, services, and research programs they trust. It will also allow a patient to access and share their healthcare information, previous prescriptions, treatments, and procedures with a new doctor which can lead to less duplication in testing and provide continuity of care.

According to CMS, more than 100 organizations, including some of the most notable names in technological innovation, have signed on to use Medicares Blue Button 2.0 to develop applications that will provide innovative new tools to help these patients manage their health. To learn more about the MyHealthEData and Blue Button 2.0, please read the fact sheet CMS has developed for these initiatives.

Although few details were forthcoming in this announcement, according to the CMS fact sheet, this initiative will also streamline Medicare documentation and billing requirements ensuring that clinicians will spend less time inputting codes and information into EHR systems, and more time with their patients.

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