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CMS Clarifies Meaningful Use Patient Engagement Requirement

CMS addresses the process of calculating a patient engagement requirement for EHR Incentive Programs.

By Kate Monica

- In a recent update, CMS added information to their compendium of FAQs regarding calculations for EHR Incentive Programs objectives and measures requiring patient action.

CMS FAQ update on patient engagement

The most recent addition focuses on whether other eligible professionals (EPs) in a practice receive credit when a patient’s action meets meaningful use objectives wherein a patient sends a message or accesses his health information.

“If attribution of the message is impossible (it absolutely cannot be determined who from the group practice sent it), it may be counted in the numerator for any provider within the group sharing the CEHRT who has contributed information to the patient's record, if that provider also has the patient in their denominator for the EHR reporting period. However, if the message is attributed to a specific provider, then it cannot count. The transitive effect applies to the Secure Electronic Messaging objective, the second measure of the Patient Electronic Access (View, Download and Transmit) objective, and the Patient Specific Education objective.”

EPs need to remain vigilant in their reporting practices as 171,000 EPs are facing payment penalties in 2017 for failing to meet meaningful use requirements.

This update follows two previous additions to the CMS FAQ in December regarding the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Final Rule as well as the policy for measure calculation for actions outside of the EHR reporting period.

Providers have until February 28 to report on EHR Incentive Programs objectives for 2016.

The CMS FAQ page includes more information regarding meaningful use requirements. 

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