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Direct Messaging and Meaningful Use Stage 2 – Transition of Care

11. November 2014 19:17 by MDToolbox in Direct Messaging, Meaningful Use

In our previous post about Direct Messaging, we covered the major benefits of Direct Messaging. One of which being that Direct Messaging is part of Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. In this post we are going to dig into a few of the details behind what criteria is required for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and give a brief description of each, along with how MDToolbox helps with the criteria in our Direct Messaging system.

There are three different Meaningful Use Stage 2 criteria that require Direct Messaging:

 1) 170.314(b)(2) Transitions of care – create and transmit transition of care/referral summaries

In Stage 2, providers must be able to send Continuity of Care Documents (CCD/CDA) formatted summary files using Direct Messaging when they transition a patient or refer a patient to another provider or organization. B2 involves first creating the care summary file, which is required to have a minimum field set as well as be formatted in a certain XML format that all other health record systems will understand. And then secondly, transmitting the document via Direct Messaging. The objective requires that the messages are sent using the Direct Protocol which uses secure direct mail addresses and encryption exchange between the servers.   

Electronic Health Record systems can have a separate “Direct inbox” for sending the message or many implement a Send button right from the Chart workflow for the provider – making transfers of chart records streamlined. Some HISP/Direct Messaging vendors (like MDToolbox) offer an API or web services that allow sending the message from anywhere in the application per the EHRs needs. This allows an EHR testing on B2 to have a process that creates the care document and attaches it to a Direct Messaging email for the provider that not only meets the criteria but is a huge benefits to the end users. When the message is sent it becomes encrypted and can only be decrypted by the intended recipient’s system, keeping the patients data safe and secure.

 

 2) 170.314(b)(1) Transitions of care – receive, display and incorporate transition of care/referral summaries

In Stage 2, providers must also be able to receive these CCD/CDA and other care summary files from other providers and facilities. The first part of the criteria basically just requires having the ability to receive Direct messages. The messages can be received in a standalone inbox provided by your HISP or an embedded inbox within the EHR. Secondly, for this criteria, the EHR must be capable of displaying the received files (most of them XML formatted) in “Human Readable” or a nice formatted output for providers. The EHR needs to apply a stylesheet or other formatting so that the provider can see what was received for many types of files including the CCD/CDA, and other files like CCR (a different XML format).  And finally the criteria also involves incorporating the received attachments. The EHR must be able to upload both the document itself, and for CCD/CDA files be able to allow clinical information reconciliation of things like allergies and problem lists (allowing providers to optionally import data elements to the chart).

Electronic Health Records can incorporate an inbox right inside of the EHR with built in tools for incorporating when signing up with a HISP that offers an API/Web services (like MDToolbox). This gives huge benefits to the provider and makes this their most important (and best) inbox they monitor on a daily basis. With a few clicks, referral charts can be reviewed and filed in the electronic chart.

 

 3) 170.314(e)(1) View, download, and transmit to 3rd party

In Stage 2, patients must also have access to their CCD Summary of Care files and chart data. Not only do EHRs have to add the ability to view and download the summary from their “patient portal”, but they also need to give patients and their authorized agents the ability to securely transmit the care summary to other providers. The Transmit of the data is required to be done through direct messaging. Some third party vendors patient portals come with direct messaging, but for EHRs that have their own patient portal this becomes a challenge. EHRs must give their patients a new “Send” button that would allow entering another provider or facilities direct address and send it via the secure Direct messaging method.  

 

As thousands of providers and facilities around the country start taking advantage of the secure “Direct” messaging, it really gives them more than just a couple of check boxes on their meaningful use attestation - it’s a new and better way to transfer records, discuss patient care and communicate. It's more secure, more efficient and can be a great time saver over the traditional communication methods. 

Want more info on Meaningful Use or Direct Messaging API with MDToolbox? Check out our Direct Messaging page and contact us today at info@mdtoolbox.com

 

 Stay tuned for more posts in our 5 Part Direct Messaging Blog Series:

    1. Direct Messaging 101
    2. Top 5 Benefits of Direct Messaging
    3. Direct Messaging and Meaningful Use Stage 2 – Transition of Care (this article)
    4. How does Direct Messaging work – Details on how PHI stays secure
    5. Direct Messaging and Data Exchange:  What types of files and data can EHRs exchange?

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Status

20. June 2014 14:17 by MDToolbox in Meaningful Use

Meaningful Use Stage 2 started at the beginning of the year and it has been off to a slow start. A report from CMS last month showed that only 50 eligible professionals (EPs) had attested to Stage 21.  While the latest numbers given have increased to 447 EPs that have attested to Stage 2, this is still a relatively small number.2  Such low numbers point towards a lack of certified products. 

A review of the ONC HIT’s Certified Health IT Product List shows that there were over 3,500 products certified for Ambulatory Stage 1 and only a little over 700 are certified for Ambulatory Stage 2.  It is also interesting to note that out of 988 developers who certified products for Stage 1 (many had several different products, even hundreds), there are only 312 vendors with Stage 2 products.  Of those vendors with Stage 2 products, only 140 have complete EHRs that meet all of the criteria for attesting to Stage 2.  

 

Only a fraction of products, complete EHRs, vendors, and complete EHR vendors have certified for Meaningful Use Stage 2 compared to those that certified for Stage 1 as of June 13, 2014

 

CMS has proposed a potential delay in the requirement of all providers to use a 2014 Stage 2 certified product this year.3  If the pending rule passes, then providers will have one more year to use their stage 1 product.  This would also give EHRs extra time to get their product certified for the harder Stage 2 criteria.  The proposed rule is only for 2014, EPs would be required to use 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting periods in 2015.  The rule is open for comments until July 21. 

If the rule passes this gives EHRs more time to meet the new criteria of stage 2 and get their product certified.   If it doesn’t pass, providers wanting to attest this year that do not have a Stage 2 certified product may be out of luck.  In order to attest to Stage 2 this year, physicians must report for 90 days.  As it is now, those attesting to Stage 1 for the first time need to report for 90 days before October 1st, 2014 in order to avoid the 1% Medicare penalty next year.  This means they would need to start by July 1st, only a little over a week away and before the proposed rule could be finalized. 

As a vendor who recently achieved ONC HIT 2014 Edition Modular EHR certification for our e-Prescribing product, MDToolbox-Rx, we understand how challenging meeting the Stage 2 requirements can be.  Because of this, we hope that the pending CMS rule is approved to give other vendors and providers the extra time they need to meet the criteria. 

MDToolbox offers meaningful use tools to help vendors quickly and easily meet some of the most challenging criteria.  EHRs who integrate our meaningful use certified e-Prescribing module can cross 9 criteria off their list and inherit our certification number towards their Complete EHR.   MDToolbox has also added a new MU2 Direct Messaging Module, MDToolbox-Direct, to our product line.  The Direct messaging module allows sending secure clinical messages via the Surescripts network that meet Meaningful Use Transition of Care and View, Download, Transmit criteria.   Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you get Stage 2 certified.

 

 

  1.  http://www.healthit.gov/FACAS/sites/faca/files/HITPC_CMS_Update_2014-05-06.pdf
  2.  http://www.healthit.gov/facas/sites/faca/files/HITPC_CMSUpdate_2014-06-10.pptx
  3. CMS rule to help providers make use of Certified EHR Technology http://www.cms.gov/newsroom/mediareleasedatabase/press-releases/2014-press-releases-items/2014-05-20.html

Top 8 Acronyms You Need to Know for Meaningful Use

5. May 2014 10:55 by MDToolbox in Meaningful Use

Previously we covered important Meaningful Use Terms you need to know.  But, as it seems to be with any topic, there are several acronyms you need to know to understand Meaningful Use and the requirements as well.  To help you get started, here are our top 8:

 

ONC - Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

The ONC is the department within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that is in charge of Meaningful Use and promoting EHR use. 

 

NIST - National Institute for Standards and Technology

NIST is the agency within the U.S. Commerce Department that is in charge of creating the Meaningful Use test methods that EHRs use to certify on.  The agency creates standards for several other areas as well, including the Security Controls and ID Proofing needed for Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS).

 

HITECH Act - Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act

The HITECH act was signed into law in 2009 and is the act stipulating incentive payments be paid for Meaningful Use to eligible providers.

 

EP - Eligible Provider

EPs are healthcare providers that are eligible to attest to Meaningful Use.  The Medicare and Medicaid programs have different types of EPs:

Eligible Medicare EPs include:

  • Doctors of Medicine or Osteopathy
  • Doctors of Dental Surgery or Dental Medicine
  • Doctors of Podiatric Medicine
  • Doctors of Optometry
  • Chiropractors

Eligible Medicaid EPs include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Certified Nurse - Midwife
  • Dentists
  • Physicians Assistants who practice in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or Rural Health Center (RHC) that is led by a Physician Assistant

 

CDS - Clinical Decision Support

CDS can be a number of different tools in an EHR that offer healthcare providers patient-specific information to aid in their clinical decisions and is one of the requirements for attesting to Meaningful Use.  A good example of CDS is showing a drug-drug or drug-allergy alert when a provider selects a drug that could have an interaction for the patient.

 

CPOE - Computerized Physician Order Entry

CPOE is the process of electronically entering medical orders, instead of on paper charts, and is also a requirement for attesting to Meaningful Use.  A prime example is electronically entering a prescription, instead of writing it out by hand on a prescription pad. 

 

HIE - Health Information Exchange

HIE is the electronic exchange of health information.  It allows health care providers and patients to access and share a patient’s health records electronically.  One of the main goals of Meaningful Use Stage 2 is to increase HIE between providers in order to increase care coordination and patient outcomes.

 

C-CDA – Consolidated-Clinical Document Architecture

The C-CDA format is a specific format standard that allows EHRs to exchange patient data with each other.