More Meaningful Use: Stage 2 of the Electronic Health Records Incentives
Aug 5, 2013 - 12:01:00 AM
Various objectives have been specified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for providers, in order to qualify for these payments. As CMS describes it, the incentive programs are "[S]taged in three steps with increasing requirements for participation." As originally defined, Stage 1 comprises data capture and sharing; Stage 2 moves into advanced clinical processes; and Stage 3 to improved outcomes. The implementation dates for these stages have been changing, as have the fine details.
Stage 1 designates two classes of objectives: Core objectives and menu objectives. For hospitals, there are 14 required core objectives. For professionals, there are 15 required core objectives. For both groups, five menu items may be chosen from a list of ten.
Hospital core objectives include...
Professional core objectives include...
For both groups, the menu objectives include large scale reporting of patient information to external databases, rendering the last-listed core objective moot, in my judgment.
Stage 2 provides more rigorous thresholds for the Stage 1 criteria, and introduces new objectives--mostly menu items, with a small number of significant core objectives.
A leading company in this field is Get Real Health, based in Rockville, MD. I spoke with Jason Harmon, CTO & Founding Partner, about their flagship product, InstantPHRTM (Instant Personal Health Record), geared to the demands of Stage 2.
"We've been 100% focused on IT-enabled patient engagement tools since 2007. It's simply too expensive to ignore what is happening to patients outside of the four walls of a doctor's office, clinic or hospital--especially now when there are so many readily available tools to track, monitor, and document important health metrics anywhere, anytime."
"We've seen patients with diabetes lower their HbA1c levels when using glucometers connected to InstantPHR, which enables them to see their readings online in real-time, in a user-friendly format, accompanied by alerts and reminders of daily tasks to help them manage their condition. Patients and clinicians managing chronic mental health conditions benefit from InstantPHR care management tools like daily mood journals, available on a mobile device, which can be configured to prompt interaction and outreach from clinicians."
I'll withhold comment on why patient engagement, beyond obtaining a copy of their records, had to wait for Stage 2.
Michael D. Shaw
For advertising and promotion on HealthNewsDigest.com call Mike McCurdy at 877-634-9180 or firstname.lastname@example.org We have over 7,000 journalists as subscribers who have access to our content for their own media.