CMS OK's texting for physicians, with stipulations

CMS reaffirmed and clarified its stance on physician texting in a Dec. 28 letter to state survey agency directors, noting texting patient information among members of the healthcare team is allowed if the providers use a secure platform.

Patient orders, though, are prohibited from being sent via text, regardless of the platform, David Wright, director of CMS' Survey and Certification Group, reiterated in the letter. He added that Computerized Provider Order Entry is the preferred method of order entry by a provider.

"CMS recognizes that the use of texting as a means of communication with other members of the healthcare team has become an essential and valuable means of communication among the team members," Mr. Wright wrote. "In order to be compliant with the [Conditions of Participations] or [Conditions for Coverage], all providers must utilize and maintain systems/platforms that are secure, encrypted, and minimize the risks to patient privacy and confidentiality as per HIPAA regulations and the CoPs or CfCs."

The letter served as a response to a Dec. 18 report issued by the Health Care Compliance Association, claiming CMS was banning healthcare providers from all texting. 

Click here to read the full letter.

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