CMS chief outlines data interoperability goals: 5 insights for providers, payers

CMS' goals for health data interoperability focus on standardizing application programming interfaces and streamlining data exchanges.

In 2020, CMS published its interoperability and patient access final rule, which ensures patients have access to their healthcare data via a personal app. As outlined in a blog post by CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the agency is requiring payers to build standardized APIs so data is exchanged securely when sent to a patient’s chosen app. CMS also will require payers to build standardized APIs for exchanging data with other payers so patients' data will follow them if they change health plans.

Below are five other ways CMS said it is working to improve health data interoperability:

  1. The agency is exploring what role it should play in managing the healthcare directories patients use to find information on providers.

  2. CMS is continuing its work with HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on the United States Core Data for Interoperability standards, aiming to improve data exchange across the healthcare system.

  3. The agency is exploring how it can utilize ONC's Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement.

  4. CMS is looking for new ways to streamline administrative processes, such as prior authorization.

  5. The agency is examining the use of an API based on the HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard for price transparency.

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