An April 27 article in Bloomberg Law’s Health Law & Life Sciences News, “Medicare Push for Data Exchange Still Burdening Providers,” discussed a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to expand patient access to medical records electronically. Day Pitney’s Eric Fader was quoted in the article.Eric told Bloomberg Law there is a marketing angle in CMS’s decision to rename the electronic health records incentive program from “Meaningful Use” to “Promoting Interoperability.” He said that “interoperability” has become the most widely used buzzword in the industry and a much better way to explain the ultimate goal of health-data exchange.
“Renaming an initiative to emphasize the worthy result rather than a rule is a sound strategy, but dramatically reducing the number of required quality measures [as the proposal also does] will certainly help convince reluctant participants to buy in to the program,” Eric commented. He noted that CMS also plans to implement policies to further reduce compliance burdens for providers, as well as create incentives for them to improve their data sharing with patients. “Involving patients in the data sharing process empowers them to be more active in coordinating their own care,” Eric said.