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Report to the White House on Lowering Health Costs

The US Department of Health and Human Services along with the Department of the Treasury and Department of Labor released a report titled Reforming America’s Healthcare System through Choice and Competition, which outlines various actions the Federal Government could take to allow for more competition in the health care market to lower costs. The report focuses on four main areas within the healthcare system:
1.       Health Care Workforce and Labor Markets
2.       Health Care Provider Markets
3.       Health Care Insurance Markets
4.       Consumer-Driven Health Care
Healthcare Information Technology and its potential role in promoting competitive practices is discussed in the fourth section, which is titled “Enabling Consumer-Driven Healthcare.” The main focus is interoperability, which is the ability to move a patient’s health information from one provider to the next seamlessly. The Health IT recommendations made in the report are:

  • "The administration should expeditiously implement provisions of 21st Century Cures Act to prevent information blocking, make it easier for patients anywhere to get their core health information, support “Open Application Programming Interfaces” to allow patients to get data on their smart phones, and encourage support of population-level data queries to allow payers electronic access to clinical data.  
  • CMS and ONC should continue work on documentation burden reduction to allow EHRs to provide informative medical records rather than boilerplate text for providers and patients.  
  • CMS should continue its emphasis on fostering interoperability across the healthcare sector.
  • CMS should continue its efforts to make data available to patients through efforts such as “MyHealthEData” and Blue Button 2.0.
  • ONC should continue making standards more comprehensive and robust."

A complete copy of the report can be found online here, or as a PDF below. 

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