Missed Patient Portal Changes to MU Stage 1

Posted on July 8, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It’s fun to have this post on Monday since we did a few years of Meaningful Use Monday posts. This actually comes from a regular reader of EMR and HIPAA who works at an EHR vendor. He wanted to point out a change to meaningful use stage 1 that they’d missed. I expect there are likely others that might have missed this change as well.

Practices attesting stage 1 in 2014 for their year one or two must have the Patient Portal. ONC made a change and made the menu item Core for this in Stage 1. We thought it was stage 2 only. I reached out to a dozen or so REC consultants we work with and more than half of them had missed this point also.

CMS replaced the Stage 1 objectives for providing electronic copies of (CORE) and electronic access to health information (MENU) with the objective to provide patients the ability to view, download, or transmit their health information.

This means that any provider attesting to Stage 1 MU in 2014 (either Year 1 or Year 2) must attest to the objective: “Provide patients ability to view download and transmit their health information.” This will be a CORE measure and will require the portal.

More information is available on page 3 of this
http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Legislation/EHRIncentivePrograms/Downloads/Stage1ChangesTipsheet.pdf

Looks like we’re going to have more patient portals in place really soon. Is your organization ready with a patient portal to meet this meaningful use measure?