needs and methodological issues of collecting information on transgender populations. An important finding from these meetings, Moulds said, was that there is a need for further discussions on how best to measure gender identity.


The “meaningful use” of electronic health records provision of HITECH is a powerful tool for getting pertinent data, including LGBT data, to better the health and well-being of all Americans, said Robert Tagalicod. CMS, he explained, oversees more than just Medicare and Medicaid; it also runs the Child Health Insurance Program, the new health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, and the Innovation Center. Overall, CMS oversees approximately $1 trillion annually in health care transactions.

In 2012, CMS established the Office of Information Products and Data Analysis (OIPDA) to lead the agency’s initiative to modernize CMS’s intricate data systems and policies and help the agency to achieve the greatest improvements in health care delivery. The agency, said Tagalicod, sees this as a mission-critical initiative to use data and analytics to guide the agency’s evolution from fee-for-service to value-based purchasing of health care, an approach that links reimbursement to quality and efficiency of care rather than the sheer volume of care. The data and information resources available under this initiative include

  • Medicare Geographic Variation Trend Data, a unique dataset that leverages nearly 5 billion Medicare claims in an easy-to-use data format that provides key metrics at the state and hospital referral region levels.
  • Medicare Enrollment Dashboard, which provides, at a single location, comprehensive statistics or summary statistics on Medicare enrollment Parts A, B, and D, and Medicare Advantage.
  • Medicare & Medicaid Research Review, an online journal.
  • CMS Data Navigator, a Web-based search tool that readily connects researchers, policy makers, and the general public to CMS data.

The idea driving the development of each of these tools, he added, is to liberate and democratize data in order to inform a wide range of programs as contemplated by the Affordable Care Act. Moreover, the goal is to make data accessible in real time in the same way that credit card charges are available to consumers within seconds of a transaction.

Tagalicod then spoke about Section 4302 of the Affordable Care Act, which allows the Secretary of HHS to develop standards for categories of

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