CMS is Expanding Interoperable Access to More Facilities

CMS has recently announced an initiative that will expand interoperable EHR access to long-term care, behavioral health providers, and substance abuse treatment facilities. This initiative will help connect all parts of the healthcare system. Andy Slavitt , CMS acting administrator and Karen DeSalvo , Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary and National Coordinator for Health IT announced this initiative in a CMS blog post, displaying how Medicaid is leading from the front for its beneficiaries and healthcare system.

CMS announced this initiative will help to bridge an information sharing gap in Medicaid by permitting states to request the 90 percent enhanced matching funds from CMS to connect a broader variety of Medicaid providers to a health information exchange than those providers who are eligible for such connections today. This additional funding will enhance the sustainability of health information exchanges and lead to increased connectivity among Medicaid providers.

Slavitt and DeSalvo said, the physicians can make better care decisions if they have all the health information available at the right time. The flow of information is hampered when not all doctors, facilities or other practice areas are able to make a complete circuit. This initiative will enable seamless sharing of a patients’ health information between doctors or other clinicians when it’s needed, leading to a more complete care team to collaborate on the best treatment plans and goals for Medicaid patients.

This initiative will eliminate any roadblocks providers may encounter by giving all physicians access to interoperable technology, which will improve the population heath by ensuring that the 72 million adults, children, seniors and people with disabilities served by the Medicaid program have access to high quality, coordinated care.

Slavitt and DeSalvo also expect this project to speed up the adoption of alternative payment models that focus on the quality rather than the quantity of care provided.

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