While data has traditionally been viewed more as a by-product of operations at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services than a core mission, Niall Brennan, CMS’s first chief data officer and head of the newly created Office of Enterprise Data and Analytics (OEDA), says that is about to change.

Brennan told Health Data Management that OEDA, which was formed last month by CMS to improve data collection and dissemination, is the “culmination of how the agency has been increasingly placing data and analytics as part of its core mission” as it has “evolved from a passive payer of claims into a value-based purchaser of care” over the past couple of years. With significant growth in the volume of CMS data and data users—both internally and externally—ensuring that the data is timely, relevant and accessible is critical, he argues.

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