Stage 2 electronic health record meaningful use requirements that at least five percent of patients conduct secure messaging with physicians, and view, download, or transmit their ambulatory and inpatient data came at the insistence of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. And those requirements might not be set in stone.

That’s the word from Travis Broome, a health insurance specialist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, during a presentation of the Stage 2 rules at the MGMA Conference in San Antonio.  He devoted most of the presentation to rehashing the rules, but the tedium quickly dissipated during the question and answer period. It was dominated by concerns around requirements for patient access to a portal, government auditing of incentive payments, and the program’s longevity in face of recent Republican questions about its effectiveness.

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