Patient Portals Will Stick in Stage 2 Meaningful Use

Stage 2 Meaningful Use Will Drive Patient Portals

If you missed yesterday’s MU Live! on patient portals in Stage 2 you can sign up to download the podcast here.

During the show our host, Jim Tate, and guest, Steve Emery of HealthPort touched upon a number of different areas on how patient portals will impact patients, providers and vendors in Stage 2 meaningful use and beyond.

Here’s a recap of some of the questions and highlights from the show:

The show began addressing a basic question – what is the difference between patient portals and PHRs? Both Jim and Steve had interesting points to make here with Steve reminding us that portals are practice-centric; PHRs are patient-centric. The need for both may still exist even in an environment where EHR systems now include a patient portal.

In response to questions related to what proposed Stage 2 meaningful use criteria means for providers in terms of patient portals, Steve discussed the paradigm shift of moving from a “pull model” for disseminating medical record information to the “push model” in a patient portal. He pointed out that this is a “substantial cultural shift” for providers that is creating increased concern on how they will communicate with patients in a patient portal environment.

With regards to proposed Stage 2 MU criteria vs. what will come out in the final rule expected late this summer Steve said that while there may be some “softening on the proposed requirements” or “shifting some into Stage 3” he feels the patient portal piece will stick as CMS wants to drop three Stage 1 meaningful use reporting criteria and replace them with a requirement for patient online access to medical records. Read Steve’s earlier guest post on this site for more details.

The show wrapped with an intriguing question: will there be a Stage 4? If the proposed Stage 2 criteria is softened then both agreed we may well see additional stages beyond the initial three.

You can sign up to download the recorded podcast here.  The show also re-broadcasts each day at 2 pm Eastern on