ONC's Blue Button 2.0 attracts plenty of interest ahead of developers conference

CMS is working on a program to allow Medicare beneficiaries to share their data with third-party apps—and it appears to be popular with developers. The effort, called Blue Button 2.0, has attracted 500 organizations and 700 developers who are interested in experimenting with the data.

At this week’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Interoperability Forum, Mark Scrimshire, who has led the Blue Button 2.0 initiative, told attendees that data from 53 million Medicare beneficiaries from the last 4.5 years will be available.

His remarks come a week ahead of CMS’s first developers conference for Blue Button 2.0.

“We’re trying to create this ecosystem where app developers can go and create tools that are really useful for beneficiaries and hopefully for the wider patient population,” said Scrimshire, who is also the entrepreneur-In-residence at NewWave Telecoms and Technologies, at the ONC forum.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma, MPH, also addressed the Blue Button 2.0 initiative in her remarks at the event.

“CMS is leading to support MyHealthEData by releasing more data and taking action to drive interoperability and patient control of their data,” she said. “We are calling on [the] industry to follow our lead and step up to the challenge. It’s time for the rest of the industry to do its part. I have called on insurers to begin releasing claims data as we did with Blue Button 2.0 and make data available to patients.”