The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a request for information (RFI) on Oct. 5 for establishing the first National Directory of Health Care Providers and Services (NDH) “that could serve as a ‘centralized data hub’ for healthcare provider, facility, and entity directory information nationwide.”
CMS is seeking comment on how a National Directory of Health Care Providers and Services could better serve patients and reduce unnecessary burden placed on providers to maintain dozens of separate directories. We look forward to hearing from our stakeholders on the need for a single source for this information for the entire health sector,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in an accompanying press release.
In the RFI, the agency cited the current fragmented state of provider directories, often containing inaccurate information and requiring inefficient, redundant reporting from providers and causing confusion for patients. The CMS seeks feedback on the potential for a government developed and maintained NDH, enabled through an application programming interface, to reduce burden on providers and contain more accurate, validated data in a publicly accessible index that could help “patients locate providers that meet their individual needs and preferences.” Such a directory could also include digital contact information to improve health data exchange between providers and improve public health reporting.
Feedback provided to the CMS will be used by the agency when considering establishing an NDH. Comments on the RFI are due Dec. 6.