CMS to Develop User-Friendly EHRs

Although the federal government has spent about $30 billion to subsidize the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by hospitals and doctors, uptake of the technology has not been seamless. Difficult-to-navigate systems are burdensome to doctors and unhelpful to patients who often have difficulty accessing their medical information. The Trump administration plans to tackle some of these issues through the MyHealthEData initiative overseen by the White House Office of American Innovation.

The initiative will enable 60 million Medicare beneficiaries to securely access claims data and share that information with their doctors. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, announced the program, called Blue Button 2.0, at this year’s Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s annual conference, saying, “The longstanding bipartisan goal of paying for health-care value – not sheer volume of services – will not be achieved until patients are able to use their data to make informed decisions about their treatment.”

Additionally, CMS intends to overhaul its EHR Incentive Programs to improve interoperability and reduce the time and cost providers spend to comply with the program.

Sources: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services press release, March 6, 2018; AP News, March 6, 2018.