FCW: USDS in action – CMS Blue Button 2.0

“In March, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a 2.0 release of a capability called Blue Button, which was initially introduced by CMS and the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010.”

“Oversimplifying — and this is a post about the U.S. Digital Service and CMS, not about Blue Button — the first goal of Blue Button at CMS is to provide Medicare recipients with all their Medicare claims data in one place. Prior to Blue Button, such data was either not releasable to individuals at all, or divided among different interventions by many providers.”

“At a philosophical level, the idea behind this is to empower health care consumers…”

“When I read FCW’s Blue Button coverage, I reflected on just how little has been written on how USDS works in practice. So I decided that learning a bit more about how Blue Button 2.0 came to be would provide useful information about this (relatively) new feature of the world of government IT.”

“Thinking about a Release 2.0 for Blue Button began about two years ago, not with USDS folks but with career staff in the CMS data analytics office. They even came up with the idea that the big change would be using APIs… This was where USDS came in…” Read the full blog here.

Source: USDS in action – By Steve Kelman, April 26, 2018. FCW.



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