Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma yesterday challenged technology developers and insurers to make health information more interoperable and available to patients. “If I could challenge the developers in this room here today to achieve one mission, it would be this: help us make every doctor’s office in America a fax free zone by 2020,” she told participants at a federal conference on interoperability, adding, “I am committed to removing any and all bureaucratic and legal obstacles to machine, device and [electronic health record] system interoperability.”

Some 600 developers have signed up to experiment with Medicare’s Blue Button 2.0, an application programming interface that will allow beneficiaries to connect their claims data to third-party applications, and Verma has called on other insurers to make their claims data available as well. “Soon CMS will release policies to move insurers down a new path, where sharing health information is part of everyday business,” she said. “Where health information is no longer locked in silo’ed systems, but is securely exchanged with patients, providers and other payers for the purposes of care coordination and treatment.”