Meaningful Use Workgroup Close to Wrapping Up Thoughts for Stage 3 MU RFC
On October 25, the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) HIT Policy Committee Meaningful Use (MU) Workgroup continued their efforts to finalize preliminary draft recommendations and questions to be included in the upcoming “Stage 3 MU” request for comments (RFC). The RFC will likely be published in the Federal Register sometime in November 2012 for a (potential) 45-day public comment period.
In response to input from ONC staff, the workgroup decided the future RFC should include a question about the ability for patients to view and download diagnostic images and related data, without actually making a recommendation about the topic. Some members of the workgroup expressed concerns about automated transmission of imaging information directly to patients if sensitive data were included (for example, findings indicative of cancer) and requested that referring physician discretion play the deciding role in those cases. Other members were concerned about file size and wanted input on sharing diagnostic quality images with patients versus alternative file types.
Regardless of how (or even if) these questions are asked in the RFC, the important thing to understand is that next month’s RFC will be a very early opportunity for stakeholder feedback to the HIT Policy Committee. Moreover, the RFC’s content will not necessarily be indicative of CMS or ONC’s own thoughts and intentions for the future Stage 3-related rulemakings.