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Stage 3 and Patient Engagement: VDT, API, PGHD, Oh My! As Industry Goes, So Goes CMS

by Naveen Rao | May 01, 2015

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Patient engagement requirements outlined in CMS’ Stage 3 regulations have drawn attention for two reasons. First is the aggressive increase in the percentage thresholds from Stage 2. Second is the addition of two major components into the program: the use of an API to enable patient access to their records, and the much-anticipated incorporation of patient generated health data (PGHD) into reported measures. It can be argued that these amount to a bold step forward. We won’t make that argument here. Squabbles over percentages aside, the additions of both API-enabled access and PGHD functionality struck us as largely reactive to the broader progress that is being made by today’s leading vendors.

That being said, MU has never been about pushing the pace. These new rules will aim to operationalize an important set of use cases that are undeniably a good thing for patient engagement – an area that has to date been underappreciated, underfunded, and under-innovated in the Meaningful Use program. While success will be tough to measure and even tougher to predict, this month’s Domain Monitor offers up specific analysis and reaction to the proposed approaches outlined by CMS in their latest rule.

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