CMS Proposed Rules to Improve Health IT in Post-Acute Care

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Feb. 8 proposed rules designed to move the nation’s health care systemincluding hospicescloser to IT interoperability.

The Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule is designed to help health care providers, insurers, and other stakeholders make patient data more useful and transferable through open, secure, standardized, and machine-readable format. The rule is also intended to give patients better access to their own electronic health records.

“What we have today is a technological Tower of Babel where systems speak different languages, information is not communicated, records are not interoperable, and patients and providers don’t have access to the information they need to make the best decisions.” CMS Administrator Seema Vera said in an August 2018 speech on interoperability.


As part of the proposed rule, CMS is a request for information from post-acute care providers, such as hospices, on how to promote interoperability and health information technology in the post-acute setting.

CMS will accept comments on this request until early April and will announce a specific deadline in the Federal Register at a later date (reference number CMS-9115-P).

“For far too long, electronic health information has been stuck in silos and inaccessible for health care consumers,” Verma said. “Our work leverages identified technology and standards to spark new opportunities for industry and researchers while improving health care quality for all Americans.”