Last week, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced the long-awaited proposed guidelines for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use requirements for electronic health records. On the same day, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) released the proposed 2015 certification criteria for EHRs. The standards proposed will be optional through 2017 and mandatory for all hospitals in 2018. They have been opened up for public comment.
The new guidelines contain a few changes to the patient engagement provisions, including a provision that would allow APIs to be used in place of patient portals to give patients access to their data and requirements for secure messaging and patient generated data.
Current Stage 2 Meaningful Use guidelines require not only that patients have the capability to “view, download, and transmit” their data from the EHR via a patient portal, but that 5 percent of patients actually make use of this functionality. The proposed guidelines would increase that requirement to 25 percent, but it would also give hospitals the option of providing that access via an API rather than a portal. Keep reading>>