CMS launches Blue Button 2.0 to free up claims data

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is leveraging HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources standard and OAuth 2.0 security profiles so that Medicare beneficiaries will be able to access and share their claims data in a universal digital format.

“CMS is going to be releasing Medicare claims data, and what’s different about Blue Button 2.0 is its going to be using the open API FHIR protocol as well as OAuth 2.0,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker, MD, at Wednesday’s HIT Advisory Committee meeting. “It will be the first of a number of efforts there with the ultimate goal of getting everything on people’s smartphones.”

Blue Button 2.0 is now available as part of the MyHealthEData initiative, an effort to put patients in control of their own healthcare information, which was announced by CMS earlier this month at the HIMSS18 conference in Las Vegas.

In announcing the initiative, CMS Administrator Seema Verma also announced the launch of Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0 and called on all healthcare insurers to follow the agency’s lead and give patients access to their claims data electronically.

Also See: Fed initiative to put patients in control of their health data

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT, more than 150 organizations have signed up for the API Developer Preview, a program in which software developers can build integrations to access four years of Medicare Part A, B and D data for 53 million Medicare beneficiaries.

The Blue Button 2.0 API utilizes the FHIR standard for beneficiary data and the OAuth 2.0 standard for beneficiary authorization that “enables Medicare beneficiaries to connect their Medicare claims data to the applications, services, and research programs that they trust,” contends CMS.

Additional information about CMS Blue Button 2.0 can be found here.

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