March 15, 2018
With double-digit client attendance and dozens of meetings staffed over four days, the Aria team is exhausted, but happy to be home and looking back on another successful HIMSS conference. As always, there were many themes and buzzwords that permeated this year’s show: AI, big data, population health, blockchain and predictive analytics, to name a few. But, the biggest buzz had to be around the remarks from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, and her surprise guest, Jared Kushner (who is supposedly the Director of the White House Office of American Innovation).
The duo said all the right things. They announced new interoperability initiatives and stressed their administration’s focus on free-flowing electronic data. They talked about the importance of open APIs across the healthcare ecosystem and the role CMS will play in making this happen. Verma also relayed how CMS is taking increased action on hospital data-blocking to ensure that patient access to their own health information is not hindered.
A related theme of their presentation was consumerism and patient empowerment. Verma stated that we will not achieve value-based care until we put the patient at the center of our healthcare system. And, to that end, she announced the launch of the MyHealthEData Initiative to break down the barriers preventing patients from being able to access and manage their medical records. A goal of this program is to put patients in control, allowing them to share their data where, when and with whom they want.
Of course, this is all easier said than done, and it remains to be seen what the actual steps are to operationalize these ideas while ensuring data privacy and security. Talk is just talk until it’s action, so without sounding too negative, let’s just say I’m not holding my breath for sweeping industry change any time soon. Oh, I almost forgot, Verma also mentioned a complete overhaul of meaningful use, but that’s a post for another day...
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