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CMS Eyes Demographic Data Repository for Health Equity; Mark Plaugher Quoted

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wants to establish a central repository for demographic data in support of health equity efforts, FedScoop reported Thursday.

CMS intends for this repository to serve as a standardized, government-wide source of demographic data that helps users address gaps in health care systems.

Mark Plaugher, deputy director of the information systems group within CMS’s Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, said his team feels they need to ask another agency for help to gather more demographic information.

“I hate to pick on the Social Security Administration but everybody has a Social Security Number,” he said at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Bethesda Health IT Event.

For now, Plaugher’s center is working to bolster cross-program analytics so that existing health data systems can contribute to other programs.