Seniors’ residences could be part of the national directory of health care providers offered by CMS – News

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Seniors’ housing providers are among the stakeholders approached by the federal government for input on a possible centralized national directory of health care providers and services.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released an information request Wednesday seeking public input on a possible national directory of health care providers and services. The agency said the move was aimed at improving access to care, reducing burden on clinicians and supporting interoperability across the healthcare industry. The notice is expected to be published Friday in the Federal Register, but is now available in PDF format.

“Easy access to accurate and helpful provider directory information is essential for patients trying to find healthcare that best meets their individualized needs and preferences,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks. -LaSure, in a press release. “CMS seeks feedback on how a national directory of health care providers could better serve patients and reduce the unnecessary burden placed on providers to maintain dozens of separate directories.”

A CMS spokesperson said McKnight Senior Residence that assisted living, memory care, independent living and operators of continuing care retirement communities are examples of the type of stakeholders the agency wants to hear from during its 60-day comment period, which will end on December 6. The RFI states, “We are specifically requesting comment on entities that may not currently be included in CMS systems, and specifically mentions post-acute care providers and nursing homes in addition to others. settings.

The request also mentions the Administration on Aging’s Elder Care Resource Locator and asks, “Are there any state or local systems with which it would be beneficial for an NDH to interact , such as those for licensing, accreditation, Medicaid provider registration, emergency response (eg, Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE)73) or public health?

The spokesperson said McKnight Senior Residence that CMS has not defined who would be included in the Directory but is asking the public and interested stakeholders to give their views on who should be included. The agency specifically requests comments on the directory concept and potential benefits, the types of vendors, entities and data elements that could be included to create value for the healthcare industry, the technical framework of a directory, priorities for a possible progressive implementation and solutions for potential challenges and risks.

“CMS has developed this RFI to gather input and feedback on the current landscape of healthcare directors and the steps CMS could or should take while considering sponsoring an NDH developed and maintained by CMS to help ease the burden providers and improve health care directory information,” the spokesperson said. . “CMS specifically requests public input and feedback on the NDH concept and potential benefits, interactions with current CMS data systems, and impacts on business processes – including the National Plan and Vendor Listing System [NPPES]supplier registration, chain and system of ownership [PECOS] and Care Compare – technical framework, phased approach to implementation, prerequisites and actions CMS should consider taking to address potential challenges and risks.

Health care directories can help individuals identify, compare and locate providers that meet specific needs and preferences, including office accessibility, language spoken and other data, according to a CMS press release. .

“Currently, the healthcare directory landscape is fragmented, resulting in patients sometimes having difficulty finding up-to-date information about providers in their network and providers facing redundant and cumbersome reporting requirements. in multiple databases,” the statement said.

The agency is seeking feedback on how a CMS-led directory could reduce the directory maintenance burden for providers and payers by providing the ability to update their own directories and provide a centralized system.

“A robust health care directory based on modern interoperable technology could significantly improve the availability of provider data and boost the electronic exchange of health data,” according to the agency. “CMS is seeking public input on a directory that could serve as a ‘one-stop data hub’ for all healthcare directories and digital contact information with accurate, up-to-date, and validated data in a publicly accessible index, developed through simplified supplier submission of information.”

CMS said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to make data available in a format that would facilitate the exchange of health data between providers and improve public health reporting.

The CMS spokesperson said all responses will be reviewed and considered for possible future action by the agency.

Calvin W. Soper