Stage 3 comments: CPeH notes 'critical role' of HIT in transformation

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 - Nurse and computer

The Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH) is another organization to submit comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  on the Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 3 final rule, asking the agency not to lose sight of the critical role health IT will play in health system transformation and interoperability as they relate to achieving current and future iterations of MU.

CPeH represents more than 127 millions consumers, patients, caregivers, seniors and other stakeholders. The organization expressed disappointment in the weakened MU Stage 2 requirements for secure messaging and patient use of online access, which stall progress.

"We must transform our healthcare system so it delivers better care and better outcomes at lower cost, but we will not be able to do that unless we engage patients as partners in their care in genuine, authentic ways," Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, which leads CPeH, said in a statement. "Patients need tools to set healthcare goals, make informed decisions and communicate with providers and this is where health IT makes a critical difference: It helps connect 21st century patients with 21st century care. The Meaningful Use program has been an important lever for advancing patient- and family-centered health IT, and we urge CMS to maintain that momentum by keeping the program strong, now and in the future."

CPeH's comments include several recommendations such as retaining full-year reporting for 2018 and beyond to support uninterruped progress for patients and families; require eligible providers to meet all measures and associated thresholds; and add requirements  for providers to use functionalities from the 2015 Certified Edition of Health IT, including person-centered electronic longitudinal care plans, health information in non-English languages and links to community resources and supports.

Read CPeH's complete comments.