Interoperability: the What and the Why.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the wake of COVID-19 recently released its final rule on the Interoperability and Patient Access policies. These changes touch on a wide range of stakeholders in the world of medicine and healthcare and while these policy changes help physicians spend more time with patients and allow digital health vendors integrate and streamline organizations’ workflow, it is what the changes do for patients that is the most exciting.

With the new Patient Access API (applicable January 1, 2021) patients will now have better control over the organization and usage of their personal data. The ruling on this change is in line with the current Administration’s goal to put patients first by combating the lack of seamless data exchange in the healthcare world. It will hopefully lead to better patient access to health information and promote innovation that will reduce the burdens on both patient and provider. The goal is to shift the snail mail stuck healthcare system to a future of secured and streamlined data sharing between patients and health organizations.

Overall this means improvements in healthcare services and reduced costs for you. More control of personal health information, heightened security for patient data, and less money coming out of your wallet.

For more information CMS has published a helpful fact sheet with a detailed overview and timeline:

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