New Center for Healthcare Transparency Can Transform The Industry

Posted by Allison on Sat, May 02, 2015 @ 04:29 PM

There is a newly formed Center for Healthcare Transparency (CHT) that is part of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This new center aims to strengthen quality and cost information when it comes to healthcare. The program has ambitious goals, including, wanting half of the U.S. population to have access to reliable cost and quality information by 2020. Many healthcare leaders have been looking for something like this, because now is the time for changes that can improve efficiency. Without a doubt, the healthcare system is going through a transformation. According to the chief data officer for CMS now is the time for this new program and the new changes. He states, "A few years ago, you could've put everyone interested in transparency in a closet, and there would've been room left over." 

Recently, CMS took a major step in the direction of transparency in healthcare processes. It released data on Medicare Part D that indicated that the program spent $103 billion on prescriptions in 2013. The AMA criticized this, stating, "troubled by the lack of context provided with that could help explain physician prescribing practices and pharmacy filling practices before conclusions are drawn." So, there are clearly some issues with transparency, and in particular price transparency; this issue of price transparency is gaining some importance due to the rise in medical options and increase in consumerist healthcare trends. It is clear that this industry is changing at a rapid rate. Anytime there is change, in any situation, transparency can help aid any new challenges and can provide good insight into just how effective the changes have been. The CHT will be a good step in the right direction.

CHT can help tackle the issue of accountability in this ever-changing healthcare industry, and this is vital now especially, because of new technologies and new ways of practicing medicine that are different than they have been historically. Value-based payment models are a hot topic related to this, and there will be more information and more programs rising out of these new models. David Lansky, CEO of Pacific Business Group on Health, summed up the importance of transparency, saying, "if we're going to pay everybody based on value, we better be measuring it in a sensible way." 

What does this mean for medical scribes and EMR? Having a medical scribe in the picture helps track patient data more effectively and accurately. This goes to together with transparency, because accuracy and transparency are linked. It seems that more transparency is inevitable, and scribes already contribute to transparency, because of their documentation expertise. EMR use has been shown in many instances to increase productivity and efficiency by keep more accurate records of patients medical visits and history. 

Information gathered from FierceHealthcare article, "Center for Healthcare Transparency aims to strengthen qualilty, cost information" 

Topics: healthcare, Improve Efficiency, healthIT, EMR