Health Data Management has a fascinating quote from Travis Broome, specialist at CMS, during a presentation on meaningful use Stage 2 at MGMA 2012.
Stage 2 electronic health record meaningful use requirements that at least five percent of patients conduct secure messaging with physicians, and view, download, or transmit their ambulatory and inpatient data came at the insistence of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. And those requirements might not be set in stone.
The patient engagement requirement has long been one of the most talked about challenges with meaningful use stage 2. The problem is easily seen. Doctors EHR incentive is being held hostage by something they don’t control. If patients don’t want to access their health information, are doctors suppose to coerce them into doing so?
An article in Fierce Health IT also has a money quote on what’s wrong with this MU stage 2 provision:
As Jeremy Tucker, medical director of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, Md., told FieceHealthcare, better patient experience comes from cultural change across all levels of the organization. “If the reason for doing patient experience is simply to get a better score on a test, you will fail,” he said. “It only takes one cold meal tray or a roll of the eyes by a staff member to derail the patient experience.”
While I love the intent of patient engagement, I don’t love it as a requirement for EHR incentive money.
Another great comment from Broome from the Health Data Management article above is in regards to meaningful use audits:
Answering a question about meaningful use payment audits, Broome acknowledged that the audits have begun. He declined to give many specifics other than saying that providers falling into certain “risk profiles” might be asked to justify their attestations. One practice, for example, attested to meaningful use and supplied identical statistics across multiple criteria, all but inviting suspicion. When challenged, that practice returned the money, Broome said.
UPDATE: Travis Broome sent me this clarifying tweet:
— Travis Broome (@Travis_Broome) October 30, 2012
Of course we know he can’t do anything without the secretary approval. Hopefully the bar is a little more than everyone failing. How about almost everyone failing or most people failing?