Patient Engagement Required
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the final rule for Stage 2 of the ARRA Meaningful Use program. Stage 2 will begin in 2014, and will include new objectives designed to further the government's policy of engaging patients and their families in the patient's healthcare. New Meaningful Use objectives will require, among other things, that hospitals and providers adopt and "meaningful use" patient portal technology.
View Online, Download & Transmit Health Information
Stage 2 of Meaningful Use will require hospitals and providers to provide patients with the ability to "view online, download, and transmit" their health information. The measure associated with this requirement will mean that hospitals and providers will need to provide online access to more than 50% of unique patients, and more than 5% of the unique patients will actually need to view, download, or transmit their health information. Additionally, beginning in 2014, the view online, download, and transmit objective will be part of Stage 1 of Meaningful Use.
HealthCare Anytime's cloud-based PHR solution will help your organization effectively provide this online access to patients. Additionally, the PHR's proxy function gives patients the ability to grant access to their PHR account to authorized representatives, which makes it easier for your organization to reach the 5% threshold.
Secure Messaging of Patients
Stage 2 of Meaningful Use will likewise require providers to use secure electronic messaging to communicate with patients on relevant health information. The measure associated with this requirement will require that more than 5% of patients seen during the reporting period actually send a message using the secure messaging function. HealthCare Anytime's secure patient messaging solution provides an easy-to-use, yet robust messaging system to help your organization meet the secure messaging requirement.
Timing - Stage 2 to Begin 2014
Stage 2 of Meaningful Use begins in 2014 for hospitals and providers that attested to Stage 1 in either 2011 or 2012. For hospitals, Stage 2 will follow the federal fiscal calendar, which means that Stage 2 will begin on October 1, 2013. For providers, Stage 2 will follow the calendar year, and begin on January 1, 2014.
To learn more about Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, visit the official website of CMS by clicking here.
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