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MU Stage 3: Final Rules Bring Subtle Changes

Written by Mark H. Johnson, MHA, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, Senior Director, Iatric Systems | @

We all know that MU Stage 3 brought its fair share of confusion, including a long waiting period and delays on the final rulings. Back in November, CMS released what they called “Final, Final.” 

As a result, there might be a few changes that you could be missing, which could cost your hospital big dollars when it’s time to attest.

One of the most important to note is the requirement that Eligible Hospitals (EHs) now have additional criteria around patient engagement and care coordination. The Secure Messaging measure and the Patient Generated Health Data are new measures that are required for this objective.

Let’s focus on the Secure Messaging changes. Secure Messaging is different for MU Stage 3 in that this has moved from an Eligible Provider (EP) objective to the domain of the Eligible Hospitals. A Secure Messaging requirement for hospital patients might be something you overlooked in your review of the “Final, Final”. 

It’s important to note that sites must attest for the capability of all three measures in this objective (View/Download/Transmit, Secure Messaging, and PGHD measures), but only need to meet the thresholds for two of the three measures.

However, this means sites that have not previously used one of these methodologies must implement and have ready for use before January 1, 2018. Learn more about the secure messaging requirement by reading CMS' update to the requirement.

Secure Messaging is just one of the changes we’d like to highlight for eligible hospitals (EHs). Watch for future blog posts where we’ll highlight similar changes.

Topics: Meaningful Use, CMS, MU Stage 3, Secure messaging

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