Study: Specialists May Struggle in Meeting MU2 Patient Engagement Requirements

Physician specialists may have a harder time than primary care providers in meeting meaningful use stage 2's patient portal requirements, according to a study in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Researchers studied patient use of an Epic patient portal over a three-year period at a multispecialty academic group practice and 10 affiliated primary care clinics. The researchers also issued a survey to all patients who had enrolled in the portal.

By the end of the study period, enrollment in the portal hit 23 percent across care sites, and overall 97 percent of physicians would have met the requirement for patient download of their health information. However, while 87 percent of primary care physicians would have met the requirement for number of email exchanges with patients, just 37 percent of specialists would have met the minimum requirements.

Researchers speculate that because patient satisfaction with the portals was high across the board, specialists' lower email numbers may be because patients are simply less likely to email a provider that does not perform chronic or preventative care. This patient tendency could make it more difficult for specialists to meet the meaningful use stage 2 email requirements.

More Articles on Meaningful Use:

HIMSS Lobbies for MU2 Year One Extension, Other MU2 Changes
CMS to Extend EHR Attestation for Certain Method II Physicians
Meaningfully Meeting Meaningful Use: The Necessity of Data Analytics

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