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Clarification from CMS Regarding Objective 5, Measure 1: Patient Electronic Access

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently provided clarification outside of the specification sheet for their intent of Stage 3 Meaningful Use’s Objective 5, Measure 1. For more information on the eight Stage 3 MU objectives, please see CMS’ specification sheets. In an email sent to states on Oct. 29, 2019, CMS specified the purpose of Objective 5, Measure 1 is to ensure that eligible professionals (EP) make a patient’s health data available and offer all four functionalities (view, download, transmit and access through API) within 48 hours of the information being available to the EP.

Objective 5, Measure 1 reads:

“For more than 80 percent of all unique patients seen by the EP:

(1) The patient (or the patient-authorized representative) is provided timely access to view online, download, and transmit his or her health information; and

(2) The provider ensures the patient’s health information is available for the patient (or patient-authorized representative) to access using any application of their choice that is configured to meet the technical specifications of the Application Programming Interface (API) in the provider’s certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).”

CMS is giving EPs flexibility on meeting the second part of Measure 1 for Program Year 2019 only. EPs may meet the second part of Measure 1 if they meet all of the following requirements:

  • Enable an API during the calendar year of the reporting period.
  • Make data available via that API for 80% of the patients seen during their reporting period.
  • Provide those patients with detailed instructions on how to authenticate their access through the API and provide the patient with supplemental information on available applications that leverage the API.
  • Maintain availability of the API; i.e., it can’t be turned on for one day and then disabled.

EPs should maintain all documentation for at least six years in case of post-payment audit.

Author: 
GDIT, (800) 688-6696