Patients Will Have Control of Their Healthcare Data
Decades ago, if a patient wanted to know anything about their medical records, they had to personally go see their doctor. The medical records belonged to the “doctor” and he could do whatever he wanted to do with the records.The records would be locked in a file cabinet and only the office secretary would have access to them.
In 1996, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) attempted to give consumers more control of their health records. This was one of the first attempts at health care reform. The HIPAA Act had two main objectives:
- The first objective was to make sure that people would keep their insurance coverage between jobs.
- The second objective was to ensure the security and confidentiality of patient information data. The HIPAA also mandates standards for the electronic data transmission of administrative and financial data relating to patient health information.
The passing of the HIPAA legislation was a start to getting patients access to their healthcare data, but it was not sufficient. Providers and healthcare organizations still owned the patient’s records.
Patients To Now Have Control of Their Healthcare Data
In 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order to Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States. This executive order wanted to promote competition in the healthcare markets. The goal of the order was to ensure that patients were empowered to take control of their healthcare and to make good decisions. By ensuring that patient has access to their healthcare data, they can take them from doctor to doctor. This will promote competition and reduce costs.
In March 2018, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) announced the creation of MyHealthEData. The CMS will be moving to a system where patients will have complete control of their healthcare data. This data will follow patients to each of their providers. This data will include medical records, test results, and information about the providers who are treating them. This initiative is lead by:
- White House Office of American Innovation
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
How Will MyHealthEData be Launched
Medicare will give their beneficiaries their data through Medicare’s Blue Button. The CMS will be expanding on Blue Button 2.0 that will provide patients with their claims data in a secure format. The Blue Button is an internet application. Medicare’s Blue Button will Medicare contain four years of Medicare A, B, and D for 53 million Medicare recipients. “Medicare’s upgrade to the Blue Button service will enable beneficiaries to give their physicians access to information on their current prescriptions and medical history, to save time during appointments and improve the quality of care delivered.”
Patients To Now Have Control of Their Healthcare Data: MyHealthEData Explained
This has the potential to be a very good program. Many times, patients will come to the Emergency Department with a complaint where they went to two hospitals. For example, a patient will go to a hospital and complain of a headache. That hospital will do a complete workup including a CT scan of the head. The patient might go to another hospital a week later complaining of another headache.That second hospital will also do a CT scan of the head because they cant get the results from the first head CT. MyHealthEData would provide those test results from the first CT scan. In this way, patients will have control of their healthcare data.
Today, healthcare providers have so much documentation. They are spending less time with the patient. This regulation will streamline CMS documentation requirements. This regulation has the potential to change the way that healthcare is delivered. The press release did not mention if private insurance would be affected.