API usage in healthcare software development
What the future holds for healthcare interoperability: How APIs keep disrupting the industry
This spring was marked by an optimistic outlook for the healthcare industry and software developers when the US Department of Health and Human Services released its final rules regarding interoperability, data sharing, and patient access.
Implementation of a Patient Access API
Starting in 2021, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and plans participating in the federal exchanges will have to support a standardized API (HL7 FHIR version 4.0.1). This API will help patients access claims and their clinical data via any third-party app they choose. This API might also be used to integrate a health plan’s data into a patient’s EHR.
Adoption of a Provider Directory API by CMS-regulated payers
The adoption in 2021 of a Provider Directory API among CMS-regulated payers also promises to benefit developers and the healthcare industry as a whole. This API is tailored at helping third-party app developers provide patients with a variety of healthcare providers to choose from. The Provider Directory API will enable healthcare providers to find other providers for coordinating patients’ treatment.
This unified standard will significantly simplify developers’ work as they’ll no longer have to adjust their software solutions for different CMS-regulated payers.
These US government initiatives are likely to enable app developers to provide healthcare consumers with the same top-notch experience they already have managing their finances, travel, and shopping. The most exciting part of the history of APIs and medical innovation is yet to come, but mature modern medicine software providers are already experienced and brave enough to solve any integration challenge.
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