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January 13, 2010

Does The CMS 12/30/09 EHR Incentive Program Require Use of Patient Portals??

Filed under: CMS,EMRs,Meaningful Use,Patient Portals,PHRs — Tags: , , , , , , — HankMayers @ 11:32 am

There are many interesting items in the CMS 12/30/09 EHR document that we’ll be talking about in this blog over the next several weeks. The one I want to touch on today is the material in pp. 92 & 93. This Eligible Practitioner Objective require that “10% of their unique patients are provided timely electronic access to their health information.” The CMS explanation of this requirement on the following page is “…have timely access to their health information (for example, have established a user account and password on a patient portal).”

While the CMS narrative goes on to acknowledge that patient internet access will be a challenge (but believes 10% is reasonable for the present), it fails to acknowledge that patient portals, or Personal Health Record services, are some of the newest and less available features in the EMR market at the present time. There clearly is a lot of effort going on right now to create these features in the EMR product market. But is it really reasonable to make this a 2011 criteria – wouldn’t 2013 be better?

Comments anyone?

Hank Mayers

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