Health and Human Services

Medicare Data API: Blue Button 2.0

The Impact


Americans reliant on Medicare claims


Developers using Blue Button API

The Challenge

Medicare claims data serves as a running health record for 53 million Americans. Locked away, that data was difficult for beneficiaries to access. We wanted to enable Medicare to integrate their health records with third-party applications. To do this, we needed to penetrate the massive bureaucracy of a trillion dollar government agency and create a usable way for beneficiaries to share their data with app developers.

The Solution

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services tapped our team to work alongside them to build Blue Button 2.0, an API that opens Medicare claims data to third-party developers. Blue Button 2.0 enables beneficiaries with different needs to grant access to developers that can help them monitor for drug conflicts, refill prescriptions, and track progress towards desired healthcare outcomes. This reduces the government’s burden to build and maintain technically complex software solutions for every possible use case. Major software companies are joining our efforts to drive value-based care outcomes for millions of Americans.

In August 2018, USDS hosted the Blue Button Developer Conference at the White House where Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Salesforce, and IBM all pledged to use the data standard Blue Button 2.0 is built on.

One third party company using the Blue Button 2.0 API is Verily, which launched Project Baseline in 2017 to make it easy and engaging for people to contribute to the map of human health and participate in clinical research.


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