Patient portals and stage 2 meaningful use.


Offering a Patient Portal for Meaningful Use Stage 2

Although you can’t begin attesting to  Stage 2 Meaningful Use  until 2014, you may be either preparing to implement or have already implemented a patient portal to meet the patient engagement requirements.

In order for providers to show meaningful use of their EMR software and qualify for federal incentives, eligible professionals will need to:

  • Provide electronic access to clinical summaries to more than 50 percent of patients
  • Use secure, electronic messaging to communicate with at least 5 percent of patients on relevant health information

Both of these requirements can be easily met through an online patient portal, provided healthcare professionals can convince patients to access it – an easy feat?  It  is really going to depend on your patient demographics.   Don’t judge by age, necessarily.  The baby-boomer generation,  is just as tech-savvy as any 20 year old today.  Look in your waiting room-who is texting on their smart-phones or reading on a Kindle?  Those are the folks to market a patient portal to.  It’s the “getting the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” analogy.   You can offer it, but how are you going to get your patients use  it?

Healthcare organizations have petitioned the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove these objectives from its meaningful use stage 2 guidelines; however, officials have yet to do so. Instead, CMS officials have hinted that the requirements could be revisited should they prove to be too difficult for providers to attest to.

In the meantime, look at what your existing EHR has to offer in terms of a patient portal.  If you aren’t already paying for this service, the cost to start up a portal is nominal.  Start promoting this now to your patients so when you do your attestation in 2014 this will be one of the core objectives that is a “no-brainer” to meet!

For additional information, please contact a sales representative at Sunrise Services, LLC.  Our toll free number is 888-880-0384, or on the web at

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