CMS may require hospitals to electronically share patient data

CMS is proposing a new rule that would require hospitals participating in Medicare to electronically share medically necessary information with other providers when a patient is transferred or discharged.

Stakeholders have until June 26 to comment on the request for information, which CMS posted in April. Specifically, the agency wants to know if making data sharing a requirement for Medicare would reduce information blocking as defined in the 21st Century Cures Act and the barriers providers may face to comply with such a rule.

"This is huge," former ONC head Farzad Mostashari, MD, who now serves as CEO of the ACO consulting firm Aledade, told Politico Morning eHealth newsletter.

Although a number of hospitals and health systems may not want to share their patient data, it is time the government step in, he added. "You're going to see a very big group pushing for this requirement," Dr. Mostashari told Politico.

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