CMS Asks Consumers To Share Their Medical Record Access Complaints

CMS has launched an effort asking consumers for stories on their ability to access and share their medical information. It seems to be part and parcel with the agency’s MyHealthEData initiative, a broad initiative focused on giving every American control of the medical data which was launched last May.

The current campaign was kicked off in a tweet by CMS Administrator Seema Verma:

Verma’s tweet sparked an interesting conversation about such access among other Twitter users. For example, Matthew Taber noted that mobile health access is making things easy for him:

Another user, Jen Graff, pointed out that even if patients do have access, not all medical record data is made equal:

In another tweet, Vitali Khvatkov made a good point about who is really likely to drive demand for medical record data:

The latter tweet brings up a particularly important point too seldom mentioned in discussions about patient medical record access, which is that we still haven’t turned most Americans into eager health data users. (Heck, I’m a mad patient advocate and I’ve never wrestled with getting my entire medical record.)

Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are patients and caregivers who want and need access to the patient’s complete medical information, and also need to be sure that that information can be shared freely between providers. The thing is, in my experience few consumers spend a lot of time chasing down their health data until they need it.

As a result, we are not likely to see a massive groundswell of patient indignation over medical record access and sharing in the near-term. And of course, while CMS may have the regulatory power to force change, it can take a looooong time to happen.

To be sure, I’ll be interested to read the first stories CMS collects on this topic. I just don’t know if the effort will do anything to overcome some providers’ aversion to making medical record access easy for consumers.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.