CMS delays implementation of new Medicare, Medicaid data rules

CMS will delay implementation of new policies designed to heighten security around Medicare and Medicaid data that drew criticism from researchers. 

On April 15, the agency said it will delay implementation of the policies, originally slated to take effect in August, to 2025 at the earliest. CMS also extended the deadline for public comment on the rules to May 15. 

The new proposal would up starting costs for Medicare and Medicaid data to $35,000 and allow only one researcher access to the requested data, which will be stored on a CMS platform. In January, more than 300 researchers signed a draft letter opposing the change, writing it would have a "catastrophic impact" on health policy research, limiting access to data to institutions able to pay higher costs for it. 

The proposed rules are designed to tighten security of claims data as data breaches increase across the healthcare system, CMS said in its proposal. In July, data for more than 600,000 Medicare beneficiaries was compromised as part of the MOVEIt software vulnerability, which affected hospitals and health systems across the country. 

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