CMS insists data sharing vital to ACO quality improvement efforts

Despite patient privacy concerns, a key component for accountable care organizations achieving quality improvement likely will be data sharing, Jon Blum, deputy administrator and director of CMS, said at Monday's Second National Accountable Care Organization Summit in Washington, D.C. CMS announced previously that it will grant access to Part A, B, and D claims data to ACO participants, and that patients will be given the option to not share such data, although a default option will be to share.

Some organizations--most notably the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)--are on record as completely disagreeing with such a move on the basis that patients will opt out, thus leaving ACO participants with little data to utilize. National Partnership for Women and Families President Debra Ness, feels otherwise.

"You can't manage care without data," Ness said at the summit. She added that she believes there will be no massive patient opt out.