Joe Biden to Trump administration: 4 'specific actions' to add to interoperability plan

In an op-ed for Fortune March 19, former Vice President Joe Biden argued the Trump administration's recently unveiled MyHealthEData initiative lacks specific details needed for effective implementation.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced the initiative March 6 at the HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas. Ms. Verma said MyHealthEData would "work to make clear that patients deserve to not only electronically receive a copy of their entire health record, but also be able to share their data with whomever they want, making the patient the center of the healthcare system."

While Mr. Biden supports the goals the Trump administration has laid out, he suggested MyHealthEData has not provided a clear path forward. "While I agree with the administration goals stated above, these health data issues are not new and we must all get serious and specific about the details to take action in the near term," he wrote.

Mr. Biden offered the Trump administration four "specific actions" to add to its interoperability plan, drawing on his background in health IT legislation. Mr. Biden noted he has been "intimately involved" with issues related to EHRs through both his leadership of the White House's Cancer Moonshot and the Obama administration's passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Here are the four actions Mr. Biden laid out in his op-ed.

1. Healthcare providers should be required to provide patients with their full medical record within 24 hours of a request.

2. CMS should invest in a centralized patient data system that gathers information from disparate sources into a uniform data portal.

3. HHS should expand their agreements with EHR vendors that participate in the agency's Sync for Science initiative, to encourage patients to contribute their medical records for research.

4. The National Cancer Institute should work with cancer hospitals and patient groups to launch a cancer data trust, in which users contribute to a database of EHR, diagnostic, genomic and outcomes data.

"We have now had nearly a decade to examine the consequences of how the EHR systems have been deployed," Mr. Biden wrote. "The industry has had ample opportunity to voluntarily address the issues of interoperability and putting data in patients' hands, and they have not done so. Now is the time to do something about the data siloes they have created — to improve health and extend lives."

To access Mr. Biden's op-ed, click here.

More articles on EHRs & interoperability:
Judy Faulkner says Epic won't challenge VA's 2017 decision to select Cerner: 'It's the customer's right to pick whatever they want'
Pagosa Springs Medical Center reaches HIMSS Analytics stage 7
KLAS: Epic, athenahealth offer most interoperable data-sharing networks

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