Healthcare providers can’t begin attesting to meaningful use stage 2 until 2014, but many have already started preparing by implementing technologies necessary to meet the rigorous patient engagement requirements. According to a report released by market research firm KLAS, 57 percent of U.S. healthcare providers currently offer patients access to an online portal solution.
The popularity of patient portals has grown since the release of the requirements for stage 2 earlier this year. In order to show meaningful use of their EMR software and qualify for federal incentives, eligible professionals will need to:
- Provide electronic access to clinical summaries to more than 50 percent of patients
- Use secure, electronic messaging to communicate with at least 5 percent of patients on relevant health information
Both of these requirements can be easily met through an online patient portal, provided healthcare professionals can convince patients to access it – but many say that getting patients to access their health records won’t be an easy feat.
Healthcare organizations have petitioned the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove these objectives from its meaningful use stage 2 guidelines; however, officials have yet to do so. Instead, CMS officials have hinted that the requirements could be revisited should they prove to be too difficult for providers to attest to.
In the meantime, physicians are embracing [Read more…]