Pew Recommends Steps to Improve Health IT Data-Sharing and Safety, Support Public Health

Pew Recommends Improvements for Health Data-Sharing

The Pew Charitable Trusts sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Sept. 13 proposing updates to the agency’s approach to paying health care providers who treat Medicare patients. In particular, Pew urges the agency to take steps to ensure that more data is shared with public health agencies and improve the safety of health information technology (IT) systems and how they share data.

The letter recommended:

  • Ways to make it easier for providers to report a patient’s vaccinations to statewide databases.
  • A requirement that case reports, immunizations, and community-level data on potential emerging illnesses be shared electronically with public health agencies so they can respond to health crises more quickly.
  • A requirement that providers annually attest to taking steps to improve the safety and ease of use of their health IT systems, specifically by employing a series of guides for health care providers.