- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' new draft meaningful use rule, released Friday, has drawn some criticism for its proposal to reduce the requirement that providers have 5% of their patients use technology to electronically download, view and transmit their medical record—to just a single patient.
- On Sunday at HIMSS, former federal health IT coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari said that the proposed rule should be withdrawn, and called on patients to demonstrate to the agency that there is demand for data access by asking their providers for electronic copies of their health records.
- For a former coordinator to express such outspoken criticism of current administration policy is a dramatic move. "For the first time I'm taking issue [with agency policy]," Mostashari said.
Mostashari believes that the proposed rule would mean that providers would not commit to patient outreach and education efforts that are an important part of the driver of patient demand. Mostashari noted that under Stage 1, providers were only required to provide electronic copies of their records to patients if patients requested them. During that period, two-thirds of providers that attested to that measure "did so with a zero denominator, not a single patient asked," Mostashari said. "I'm afraid what will happen is we'll go back and two-thirds [of providers] will attest with one" VDT.
"If this proposed rule stands, it would roll back a lot of progress that's been made incorporating patient engagement into workflows," Mostashari told Modern Healthcare. "To meet even a low threshold, providers have had to change their processes to engage patients," educating them that "they have access to that information. That's the biggest potential loss."