Twenty-one consumer organizations are urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services not to just stand firm on proposed criteria for Stage 2 electronic health records meaningful use criteria, but to go further in a final rule.

 

The groups want tougher criteria for giving patients view/download/transmit access to their health information--within 24 hours of an office visit or hospital discharge. The proposed rule would give access within four business days of the information being available to the eligible professional, and within 36 hours of hospital discharge. Consumer advocates also seek increased use of secure messaging between providers and patients, and requirements that providers not just collect demographic data, but demonstrate use of the data to improve care for all populations and reduce health care disparities.

Further, the consumer groups aren’t buying provider arguments to CMS that the first year of Stage 2 should have a 90-day reporting period rather than a full year. “We respectfully remind CMS that the intent of the one-year delay in Stage 2 is to allow for a robust set of advancements, and therefore we do not agree with the proposal some have advocated to shorting the reporting period to only ninety days,” according to a comment letter, available here.

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