Say goodbye to meaningful use. Sort of
The CMS last week took steps to do what many in the industry have been advocating for a while now—put meaningful use out to pasture. Symbolically, at least.
In an inpatient and long-term care payment proposal, regulators set out a plan to give the meaningful use program a makeover, calling it “promoting interoperability.” The goal is to boost interoperability between patients and providers, a move that mirrors the government’s MyHealthEData initiative to give patients more control over their health information.
“Patients could collect their health information from multiple providers and potentially incorporate all of their health information into a single portal, application, program or other software,” according to the CMS.
The push could foster more innovation, and it garnered some praise from experts.
“It’s a good thing to be developing apps and APIs for pa- tients in order for them to be able to consolidate information from multiple patient portals into a single record bank app,” said Dr. David Kibbe, CEO of DirectTrust, a not-forprofit health IT collaborative.
The new program doesn’t do away with all current meaningful use requirements, including that providers use the 2015 edition of certified electronic health record technology in 2019.
American Hospital Association leaders were disappointed by this provision. “The AHA is concerned that not all technology vendors yet have 2015-edition certified EHRs,” said Chantal Worzala, the association’s vice president for health IT and policy operations. “Once the vendors have the technology available, vendors must schedule and work with providers to install it, which can take time.”
The 2015 edition aligns with the provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act that call for using open application programming interfaces in EHRs.
Regulators asked for public comments on the logistics of achieving this new kind of interoperability, particularly focusing on barriers that could prevent patients from accessing or controlling their medical records.