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Tag: Health IT Policy Committee

Enabling Patients to Be Part of Their Care

In May 2008, when the Roper poll asked a random sample of Americans “If your medical records and personal health information, such as test results and doctor’s instructions, were available to you online, how likely do you think you would be to access those records and information?” Sixty-five percent said they were somewhat, very, or extremely likely to access their records.  In the February 2009 stimulus bill, Congress asked the Health IT Policy Committee “to facilitate secure access by an individual to such individual’s protected health information” and “…  to facilitate secure access to patient information by a family member, caregiver, or guardian acting on behalf of a patient…”

CMS now proposes that in 2014, hospitals receiving the billions of dollars of Stage 2 federal EHR incentive payments must provide patients with electronic access to their hospital discharge information within 36 hours of leaving the hospital.  CMS is not only asking hospitals to give patients reasonable access to their own current and actionable health information, but it’s also trying to help patients and families address the wasteful and dangerous rates of hospital readmission and failures in continuity of care that haunt American healthcare.  But the American Hospital Association is arguing that “Establishing a web portal or other mechanism to provide patients online access to this magnitude of data is unrealistic and premature.”

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