Medicare chief calls for transparency in healthcare

Seema Verma, CMS administrator (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) gave an exclusive interview at the World Health Care Congress in Washington, D.C., where she was also the keynote speaker. Verma said in her interview that in any other sector in the economy, consumers know how much things are going to cost. But, in the healthcare sector it’s a mystery. She plans to change this scenario.

CMS Head said that its time healthcare catches up with other industries. Consumers should have greater transparency about prices and easy access to their health records and data once they receive care. Verma mentioned that the organization plans to begin with asking hospitals to post prices online.

CMS has issued a list of proposals, which are focused at promoting better interoperability of digital healthcare records. These proposals include forcing hospitals to share prices online, asking them to transfer patients’ discharge records to doctors electronically, even if their doctor doesn’t belong to the same health system.

Verma mentioned that CMS aims to reach a point where patients have an access to their healthcare information in one place. Health officials will invite comments from industry stakeholders and the general public on the proposed rules about data access over the next two months.