Seema Verma

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21st Century Cures and the Road Ahead

I’ve been writing fewer posts recently because the trajectory forward for healthcare and healthcare IT seems to be evolving very rapidly.   In just the past week, we’ve had: the American Hospital Association letter suggesting that 21,000 pages of regulations be rolled back including Meaningful Use Stage Three concepts and quality measurement in many care settings, the passage of the 21st Century Cures bill and its many IT related mandates, and the nomination of Tom Price for HHS Secretary  and Seema Verma for CMS administrator...

Blue Button Developers to Meet at the White House Today - Verma and Liddell to Open the Conference

More than 700 app developers and eHealth groups and organizations have registed to meet today at the White House for the first Blue Button 2.0 developer conference. The "The inaugural Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference will bring together application developers in the technical community to help build and develop new tools to help patients understand their health data,” said Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in a statement. 

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CMS Goes Live with Blue Button - With Life and Cost Saving Applications for 53 Million Americans to Use

On August 13 at the White House in Washington, D.C., the Office of American Innovation and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will host the first Blue Button 2.0 conference. This event will highlight CMS’ strong investment and leadership in Blue Button as a patient driven means for interoperability, cost-effective care and patient safety. Eight years after President Obama’s announcement of the Blue Button initiative to give Veterans, military beneficiaries and Medicare beneficiaries “easy access to their health information” with the use of a “Blue Button”, CMS Administrator Seema Verma took action with “Blue Button 2.0” so that 53 million Medicare beneficiaries can now make use of CMS approved patient facing Blue Button applications, turning a four-year history of claim data into actionable longitudinal health records to prevent costly medical errors, unnecessary redundant care or other harmful and wasteful care.

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CMS Launches Data Element Library To Support Interoperability

Press Release | Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services | June 21, 2018

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s first Data Element Library (DEL). The DEL is a new CMS database that supports the exchange of electronic health information. Using this free, centralized resource, the public for the first time can view the specific types of data that CMS requires post-acute care facilities (such as nursing homes and rehabilitation hospitals) to collect as part of the health assessment of their patients. These assessments include questions and response options (data elements) about patients, including demographics, medical problems and other types of health evaluations. Read More »

CMS Promoting Interoperability Program: A Public Health Perspective

Well, here we go again. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has now released a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), titled Medicare Program; Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2019; Medicare Shared Savings Program Requirements; Quality Payment Program; and Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program...As this NPRM was released, the CMS Administrator, Seema Verma, published an open letter to doctors which is focused on reducing the burden on doctors so they can spend more time with physicians. HL7 has begun a similar initiative on reducing clinical burden. So the key question is: Does this NPRM go far enough to reduce provider burden in the spirit of Dr. Verma's letter?

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HHS Seeks to Reorient Obamacare Innovation Center

Charles S. Clark | Government Executive | September 26, 2017

Even as the Trump administration works to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it is taking advantage of one of the 2010 law's provisions to advance its own take on health system innovation. Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, on Sept. 20 announced plans to redirect the six-year-old Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Health and Human Services Department. Its mission is to test new approaches or models to pay for and deliver high-quality health care more efficiently...

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Is Faxing the Solution to the Health IT Usability and Interoperability Crisis?

The Healthcare industry is in profound crisis as the HITECH Act of 2009 led medical facilities across the United States to spend in excess of $3 trillion on the purchase and implementation of expensive electronic health records (EHRs) under the Meaningful Use program. Yet, the most fundamental goals of electronic records Nirvana that were promised have not been achieved. For multiple reasons, EHRs have turned out to lack usability and be non-interoperable. In fact, most EHR vendors are engaged in what is commonly called “data blocking.” In most cases physicians are unable to obtain medical records for the patients they are seeing and patients have a hard time getting a hold of their own medical records. That means that the medical records are not available at the most important moment, the caregiver/patient encounter, and are not available to the patients themselves and their family members.

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Medicity's CEO's Thoughts on Interoperability

Last week I had the esteemed privilege of attending the EHR Interoperability Meeting at the White House with Seema Verma, CMS Administrator, and Don Rucker MD, National Coordinator at ONC. The attendees represented payer organizations, and the discussion was focused on the barriers to interoperability and how we can band together to overcome them. Below are my responses to the major questions asked of each payer. As you read through this information, I hope it further clarifies our position on these topics.

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Preliminary Thoughts on CMS Proposed MIPS IP Rule Changes: A Public Health Perspective

Well, here we go again. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has now released a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)...The purpose of this NPRM is to address proposed changes for Year 3 of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), the provider (as opposed to hospital) side of the Quality Payment Program. The part that is most relevant to public health is the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability (IP) Program for Eligible Professionals (EP)” (the EHR Incentive Programs have been renamed). A major goal of this NPRM is to synchronize as much as possible the EP program with the hospital-based program that was addressed in a previous NPRM just a few months ago.

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Rush Medical Center Demoes Patient-Centered Blue Button 2.0 Mobile App at White House Event

Press Release | Rush University Medical Center | August 17, 2018

Information technology has changed the world, and now it’s changing health care in dramatic and fast-moving ways. Rush is a nationally-recognized leader in using IT to achieve better outcomes, lower costs and improve the patient experience. This leadership reached the White House on Monday, when...Rab and Boutrs presented MyRush Mobile, an app for mobile phones developed by Rush’s information systems department, to representatives of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, including CMS director Seema Verma. The presentation was part of the Blue Button 2.0 Conference, a gathering of software developers held in the White House South Court Auditorium.

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Seema Verma's speech at HIMSS18: Making the patient the center of our health care system

Press Release | CMS | March 6, 2018

I’ve always been struck by how seldom the patient is mentioned in discussions around value-based care. Let me be clear, we will not achieve value-based care until we put the patient at the center of our healthcare system. Until patients can make their own decisions based on quality and value health care costs will continue to grow at an unsustainable rate. This administration is dedicated to putting patients first, to be empowered consumers of health care that have the information they need to be engaged and active decision-makers in their care. Through this empowerment, there will be a competitive advantage for providers that deliver coordinated, quality care, at the best value, to attract patients who are shopping for value.

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Tech Giants Back White House Open Source Health IT Initiative

Six major technology companies have thrown their support behind the White House's initiative to use an open source, collaborative, approach to accelerate the progress of health data standards and interoperability and to give patients access and control of their medical records. The companies; Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce signed a pledge that was presented at the White House's Blue Button 2.0 developer conference. The conference took place last Monday. Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) told the press that “As transformative technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence continue to advance, it is important that we work towards creating partnerships that embrace open standards and interoperability.

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VA Announces Launch of 'Lighthouse Lab' at HIMSS18 Conference

Press Release | US Department of Veterans Affairs | March 7, 2018

...the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the launch of a “beta” version of its Lighthouse Lab, a computer platform offering software developers access to tools for creating mobile and web applications that will help Veterans better manage their care, services and benefits....Considered the “front door” to VA’s vast data stores, Lighthouse is the department’s application programming interface (API) management platform, and functions similar to a waiter’s role in a restaurant — the critical link communicating orders to the “kitchen.” For VA, the kitchen is the system that will prepare the order then deliver it back to the waiter, or API.

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2018 Health Datapalooza

Event Details
Type: 
Conference
Date: 
April 26, 2018 (All day) - April 27, 2018 (All day)

The gathering place for people and organizations creating knowledge from data and pioneering innovations that drive health policy and practice. Health Datapalooza sits at the nexus of ideas, evidence, and execution. Where Federal policymakers and regulatory leads take their seats beside Silicon Valley startups and the health system’s chief information officers. More than a meeting, Health Datapalooza is a diverse community of big thinkers and roll-up-our-sleeves-and-get-it-done problem solvers who share a mission to liberate and use data to improve health and health care.

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Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference

Event Details
Type: 
Conference
Date: 
August 13, 2018 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm

The Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference will bring together developers to learn and share insights on how we can leverage claims data to serve the Medicare population. CMS Administrator Seema Verma and other leaders will speak about Blue Button 2.0 and the MyHealthEData initiative. In addition, the meeting will feature lightning talks, demos, and breakout sessions.

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