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5 ways Biden’s service-focused executive order will affect healthcare

The Biden administration wants to improve how the federal government delivers services—including healthcare—to Americans, the White House said in an executive order released Monday morning.

Here are five things to know about the administration’s customer service goals:

1. Patients’ ability to use telehealth services will increase under the executive order. The administration says this will connect rural residents, those with disabilities and others who want remote options with their doctors, but the order doesn’t offer details on how that will happen or what that means for provider reimbursement.

2. The administration wants to improve maternal health delivery. The executive order says more patients will be able to easily access electronic prenatal, birth and postpartum health records, like lab results and ultrasound images. Medicaid maternal health quality measures will also be evaluated by race and ethnicity to help identify and lessen inequities in care and outcomes. The announcement comes after CMS said last week that it will propose creating a “birthing-friendly” hospital designation that will eventually be added to the Care Compare website.

3. Medicare beneficiaries will be able to access online tools that help them manage their care, provide customer support options and spend less on drugs. Beneficiaries will also be able to enroll more easily in benefits from the Social Security Administration.

4. The administration wants to streamline Department of Veterans Affairs digital health services and other benefits, allowing virtual services to be available through an integrated platform that works online and through a mobile app.

5. CMS has been designated as a high-impact service provider within the Health and Human Services Department. In general, the executive order directs agencies to center their beneficiaries by modernizing programs, cutting back administrative burden and simplifying online tools.

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