Meaningful use change: Physicians must have a patient portal in 2014

CMS made a significant change to the meaningful use program in 2014 that many providers may not be aware of. All physicians, regardless of the stage they are participating in, must have a patient portal in 2014 if they are participating in meaningful use. CMS changed the list of core and menu set objectives for Stage 1, which are detailed below:
 
New core measure (was previously a menu set measure)
  • Patient electronic access – provide patients the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information within four business days of the information being available to the eligible professional. More than 50 percent of all unique patients seen by the physician during the EHR reporting period must be provided online access to their health information with the ability to view, download, and transmit to a third party. Physicians will most likely require a patient portal to achieve this measure.
Deletion of core measure
  • Electronic copy of health information – This core measure has been removed in 2014 and beyond.
  • Electronic access to health information – This core measure has been removed in 2014 and beyond.

Contact your EHR vendor for additional information regarding patient portals and how to incorporate this measure into your meaningful use program for 2014 and beyond. For additional guidance from the Academy, please email hit@aad.org.

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