Fall 2017 Report to Congress

Modernizing Health Data Access with APIs

Health & Human Services (HHS)

The Challenge

The Blue Button Initiative began in 2010 to “Put Patients First” by enabling simple access to health records.

Currently, patients can download or print their health records from MyMedicare.gov. As part of the update to the initiative, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is planning to launch an Application Programming Interface (API) for Medicare claims, which will allow companies and researchers to empower patients to make better decisions with their health information. With the new API, patients will be able to grant consent to mobile apps, patient portals, clinical trials, and more to leverage their data for medical research and more personalized, cost-effective care.

The Solution / First Update

USDS is currently providing technical and product management support for the deployment of the Medicare Claims API. The API will launch at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference in March 2018.

1upHealth is one of many third-party companies integrating with Medicare claims data to provide crucial services to patients.


  • The Medicare Claims API includes three years of Medicare (Part A, B, D) claims data
  • Data sets include information for 53 million Medicare beneficiaries
  • Third-party developers are actively building integrations with the Medicare Claims API
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