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MyHealthEData Advances with CMS's "Patients Over Paperwork" Initiatives

Recently on August 2nd, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized policies to advance with the MyHealthEData initiative and the CMS Patients Over Paperwork Initiative.  The CMS updates with these core pieces will strengthen interoperability from within. For instance, the interoperability of, the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) with the Prospective Payment System (PPS).

These policies released with final rule today will begin to implement the MyHealthEData initiatives from The White House. This will empower patients to be able to have better access to things such as, hospital price information, their electronic health records and overall, make it easier for providers to spend time with their patients.

With this there is an overhaul with the program formerly known as the "Meaningful Use" program, or the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, to provide the following:

  • Make the program more flexible and less burdensome
  • Emphasize measures that require the exchange of health information between providers and patients
  • Incentivize providers to make it easier for patients to obtain their medical records electronically

Additionally, providers are advised to use the 2015 Edition of the certified electronic health record technology in 2019. To demonstrate meaningful use of incentive payments and to avoid reductions to Medicare payments. With the 2015 technology requirements, a patient should have the ability to share their information with another member of their care team or with a new doctor, which can reduce duplication and encourage continuity of care.

In a separate final rule – the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) final rule – announced this week, the Patients Over Paperwork initiative will be advanced through avenues that reduce unnecessary burden on providers by easing documentation requirements and offering more flexibility. CMS said the rule establishes an innovative new classification system, the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), which ties skilled nursing facility payments to patients' conditions and care needs rather than volume of services provided. The new model will incentivize treating the needs of the whole patient, rather than focusing on the amount of services for that patient, which requires substantial paperwork to track over time.

Finally, CMS mentions that the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) PPS final rule adopts advances in telecommunications technology and removes obstacles that may prevent rehabilitation physicians from conducting certain meetings without being physically in the room. The rule also removes overly prescriptive documentation requirements for admission orders for these rehabilitation facilities.

These final rules have similar goals to the CMS Proposed Changes to the Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program, which are aimed at "putting patients over paperwork by enabling doctors to spend more time with their patients."

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