Using Patient Portals to Achieve Meaningful Use (EP Edition)

A patient portal is a secure application accessible via the Internet that allows patients to interact with their healthcare provider.  The patient portal allows patients to view parts of their medical record (chosen by the healthcare provider) and communicate with their provider through secure messaging.  To meet the 2014 requirements of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, often referred to as “Meaningful Use,” healthcare providers must have a patient portal installed.  The requirements for how actively the provider and patients use the portal are dependent upon the Stage of Meaningful Use in which the provider is participating.

The key to success is having a Patient Portal that contains the information patients want AND is easy for patients to use.  If you can’t get meaningful information to the portal, or your patients don’t use the portal, you won’t meet the measures.

This easy-to-use reference identifies the Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 Core and Menu Objectives for Eligible Providers (EP) that require or would benefit through use of a patient portal, and provides simple achievement checklists for each of these measures.

Read an Excerpt: 

Patient Portals in Meaningful Use

CMS believes that healthcare providers are in the best position to encourage patients to take a more active role in their healthcare by using Health Information Technology (Health IT) such as a patient portal or personal health record (PHR).  The information below provides details about each EHR Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) measure that requires a patient portal, along with a checklist to review individual requirements.

To demonstrate Meaningful Use, providers must meet the thresholds for the measures (or qualify for an exclusion).  There are no partial incentive payments – failure to meet any of the requirements results in no payment.

A Patient Portal is required in order to meet the Core Measures for Meaningful Use Stage 2.

The Patient Portal may also help to meet a menu measure and several additional measures because it encourages patients to populate their health information online.  It also allows providers to exchange clinical information with their patients electronically.

Overview of Objectives

In Meaningful Use Stage 2 there are 17 Core Objectives.  Eligible Providers must meet ALL 17 Core Measures.

MU2 Core Measures - HIE

In Meaningful Use Stage 3 there are 6 Menu Objectives.  Eligible Providers must meet AT LEAST 3 Menu Objectives.  There are no measures that require a Patient Portal; however, the Patient Portal may help you to meet the requirements.

MU2 Menu Measures - HIE

Meaningful Use, HIE, patient portals