The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued new guidance on the Summary of Care core objective in Stage 2 of the electronic health records meaningful use program. Here is an update to Frequently Asked Question 10660:

Question:  For Measure 2 of the Stage 2 Summary of Care objective for the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs, may an eligible professional (EP), eligible hospital or critical access hospital (CAH) count a transition of care or referral in its numerator for the measure if they electronically create and send a summary of care document using their CEHRT to a third party organization that plays a role in determining the next provider of care and ultimately delivers the summary of care document?

Answer:  An EP, eligible hospital or CAH may count transmissions in this measure’s numerator when a third party organization is involved so long as:

• The summary of care document is created using certified EHR technology (CEHRT);

• The summary of care document electronically transmitted by the EP, eligible hospital or CAH to the third party organization is done so using EITHER:

(a) their CEHRT’s transport standard capability; or

(b) an exchange facilitated by an organization that is an eHealth Exchange participant.

• The third party organization can confirm for the sending provider that the summary of care document was ultimately received by the next provider of care.

In instances where a “third party organization that plays a role in determining the next provider of care and ultimately delivers the summary of care document” is involved, the service the third party provides does not have to be certified for the transmission to be counted in the numerator for measure 2. Nor are there any specific requirements around the technical standards or methods by which the third party delivers the summary of care document to the receiving provider (e.g., SOAP, secure email, fax). 

For more information about the Summary of Care objective, please see FAQ 9690.

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