Web-based strategies for enhanced sharing of HHS resources
The Department is leveraging web-based technologies to improve its interactions with stakeholders. These include strategies such as:
- paperless systems that are customer-focused;
- portals that amalgamate resources in ways that can assist our stakeholders such as patients, provides, and entrepreneurs to effectively utilize HHS products and services;
- real-time information that allows requestors to meaningfully assess the availability of resources;
- new tools for easy, on-line, one-click licensing;
- templates that can be downloaded; and
- syndication tools that allow other organizations to effectively utilize and disseminate HHS-developed or verified content.
- Provider Enrollment Improvement Initiative
The CMS Center for Program Integrity (CPI) Provider Enrollment Operations Group (PEOG) has made improving customer service a primary goal, and by doing so has begun to change the way providers view and interact with CMS. Provider Enrollment is the registration and verification gateway to the Medicare Program. Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS) is where the official record of information about that provider and any groups they are associated with is maintained. Provider enrollment also supports claims payment, fraud prevention programs, and law enforcement through the sharing of data.
The Provider Enrollment Improvement initiative focuses on three primary areas:
- Customer Usability - Evaluate the user experience from start to finish, simplify the online registration processes, reduce data entry time, and provide tools for large groups and organizations;
- Creation of All Digital Processes - Remove paper from the enrollment process, leveraging new and existing best practice technology, and allowing increased connectivity for large providers; and
- Increased Communication - Increasing access and consistency of information and communication with providers, while also increasing access to information for other groups within CMS.
The CMS Provider Enrollment initiative was launched in 2011. A number of improvements have already been launched this year and will continue through 2012, including:
- E-Signature (e.g., allowing providers to submit enrollment applications without mailing in a signed signature page);
- Fast track view (e.g. ability to view and quickly update all enrollment application data from a single screen);
- Self-service password /username reset (e.g., ability for users to reset their system password or regain username without calling help desk);
- Searching and Filtering of 3nrollment Records (e.g., ability for PECOS web users to quickly search through their enrollment records);
- Special screen for state users (e.g. , creation of special screen within PECOS administrative interface that gives state users the ability to quickly view a summary of all enrollment information need by state users on a single screen);
- Reassignment reporting (e.g., ability for organizational providers such as group clinics who accept reassignments to see the status of all Individual Providers who have reassigned benefits to them);
- Collection of digital documents (e.g., ability to upload supporting documents when submitting an application, removing the need to mail in any additional information); and
- Bulk upload of enrollment applications (e.g. ability for large organizational providers who manage large numbers of enrollments for individual providers to upload hundreds of enrollment applications via an XML form rather than one at a time via the PECOS web interface).
- National Institutes of Health Clinical Research Trials and You Initiative
NIH recently created a new website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You to help people learn more about clinical trials, why they matter, and how to participate. Recent research has shown that among the greatest challenges to recruitment of volunteers is the lack of general knowledge about what trials involve, where they are carried out, and who may participate. This site has created a “front porch” for easy entry into all the aspects of clinical trials, bringing together resources from both NIH offices and grantee institutions, such as: information on the basics of clinical trial participation; first hand experiences from actual clinical trial volunteers; explanations from researchers; and links on how to search for a trial or enroll in a research matching program. In addition, health care professionals can read about evidence-based strategies for talking with patients about trials, print audience-tested posters to help promote trials in clinics and offices, and find other educational materials. The site was created by trans-agency cooperation, formative research results, and public and physician participation. An initial version of the website was launched in February 2012. Updates to the site will be made on an ongoing basis, in collaboration with an improved National Library of Medicine clinical trials website. More information about this initiative can be found at: http://clinicalresearchtrials.nih.gov
- Electronic Research Materials Catalogue
- The NIH Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) recently launched the electronic Research Materials catalogue (eRMa) to drive licensing of unpatented materials to companies and support the continued advancement of scientific research in the private sector. The new system will streamline the licensing process by providing a website for companies to find and license unpatented materials using a ready-to-go, one-click license contract, and allowing a company to pay online through Pay.gov. Under the current paper-based system companies must negotiate the terms of the license based upon a model, which can take weeks. The scientist with the materials may no longer have them available by the time the license is complete, and NIH must wait for the paper check to arrive and clear before the materials are sent. This creates unbearable delays of many weeks or months for commercial scientists trying to move projects forward quickly. Sometimes they give up trying. The new site changes this paradigm completely with a searchable catalogue of materials available for licensing, licensing and royalty payment information, and on-line, one-click licensing capability. In addition, the verification of the availability of the research material from the researcher is automated, thereby providing accurate and real time information to the requestor about the availability of materials. The site also automates the internal routing of the license and provides information to all users on the status of the process. The website provides potential partners with the information necessary to license materials from OTT, including fillable license agreements. The interactive website provides a marketing and licensing option that is designed to expedite the licensing process, decrease transaction costs, and facilitate greater dissemination of research materials. The next version of this site will have even more integration with the staff within OTT to provide them with feedback on the usage of the site as well as provide the ability of licensees to securely communicate with the licensing managers about the research materials. In time, OTT would like to expand the capability to include commercial development licenses in addition to these internal research use licenses.