News, Quality of care, Skilled Nursing Facility

CMS vows to stop hospitals from blocking nursing home requests for patient information

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released several proposals in a blog post dated February 8, 2019, to help increase interoperability between hospitals and LTC facilities and remove silos that prevent SNFs and nursing homes from getting the information they need to care for patients. The agency is accepting comments on the requests for information and proposed rule until early April (exact date to be announced).

One proposal aims to set up “trust networks” to allow payers in CMS programs to join a health information network where they can participate in a nationwide exchange of data. In another, individual clinicians, hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAH) that have submitted a “no” response to any of the three attestation statements regarding the prevention of information blocking in the Promoting Interoperability Programs would become standard would be publicly reported.

Other proposals include replacing fax machines for the exchange of health information with electronic addresses; revisions to hospital and CAH Conditions of Participation to require that Medicare-participating hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and CAHs send electronic notifications when a patient is admitted, discharged or transferred; and promoting interoperability among model participants and other healthcare providers as part of the design and testing of innovative payment and service delivery models.

In addition to breaking down barriers for healthcare providers to access electronic health information, CMS’ proposed rule includes several provisions to help patients access their own health data during care transitions. Read the full blog post here.