Are you a provider who would like to better engage patients and other consumers to improve their health? Is clinical data sharing with the patient important to your organization to achieving that objective? Would you like to improve the convenience and access your patients have to their digital health information?
If so, we can help.
The Office of National Coordinator (ONC), which oversees health care technology in the United States, has developed a guide for providers known as the “Patient Engagement Playbook.” This guide helps clinicians by sharing strategies to help them engage consumers and provide access to electronic health information.
You can find more information by going here.
In addition, the ONC published a 2017 study on the latest statistics on the state of consumer access to their medical information using nationally representative survey data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) survey.
It shows that when given the choice, patients really do want electronic access to their information. You can learn more by going here.
What is the public and private industry doing to release more electronic data to individuals?
As part of the Quality Payment and Promoting Interoperability Program, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a requirement to “Provide Patient Access” to their electronic health information.
Most of the electronic health record (EHR) vendors have developed an upgrade to their technology to accommodate for this requirement by voluntarily following an industry-agreed upon approach for releasing their data via an Application Programming Interface (API). It’s called the Argonaut Project and more information can be found here.
We are encouraging all providers and EHR vendors to follow the Argonaut and SMART on FHIR approach to developing their APIs to encourage better interoperability. As the ONC recently reported, 82% of all hospitals in terms of market share are using this approach in only 3 short years since the project started.
What is the industry doing to help keep the information private and secure once it leaves the provider’s system and is sent to a consumer-facing third-party application?
We’re glad you asked. One of the goals of the CARIN Alliance is to develop industry consensus on a framework for how these third-party applications will use, store, and manage data on behalf of consumers.
You can learn more by reading our CARIN Code of Conduct which can be found here.
For Health Plans
The CMS Blue Button 2.0 project provides over 53 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries access to their electronic claims information. CMS is interested in health plans following their lead in sharing claims information with consumers.
In fact, in the 2019 Medicare Call letter it says the following:
Expanding use of Electronic Health Data for MA Enrollees
In March, CMS launched Blue Button 2.0, which puts patients in charge of their own health data. Blue Button 2.0 provides secure beneficiary-directed data transport in a structured Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) format that is developer-friendly. This will enable beneficiaries to connect their data to applications, services, and research programs they trust. Blue Button 2.0 uses open source code that is available for all plans at https://bluebutton.cms.gov/developers/.
CMS recommends and encourages plans to adopt data release platforms for their enrollees that meet or exceed the capabilities of CMS’s Blue Button 2.0. CMS is contemplating future rulemaking in this area to require the adoption of such platforms by MA plans beginning CY2020.
As a result, a group of health plans have convened in early 2018 to define what ‘meet or exceed the capabilities of CMS’s Blue Button 2.0’ functionality means. Our goal is to develop an agreed upon set of data fields that we would exchange with consumers and a FHIR-based implementation guide for health plans to use to implement the API. We would welcome your participation in that effort.
You can learn more in the Health Plan workgroup section of our website.
Please contact us if you would like more information.