The government’s proposed rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 and the comment period that ended earlier this week kicked off a battle between patients and providers. At the heart of the war is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposal that patient information be available to the individuals within 36 hours of discharge from a hospital and within 24 hours of an office visit.
Understandably, patient and consumer rights groups want individuals able to access their medical information as soon as possible so they can act on it swiftly, while healthcare providers want more time to gather data and make it available to patients. Providers fear they’ll be forced to rush complex data to patients before it’s complete, accurate, and secure.
On the provider end of the battlefield is the American Hospital Association, which says 36 hours is not enough time to provide discharged patients with information about their hospital stay. The proposed CMS requirement is technically “unfeasible” and riddled with potential conflicts with current HIPAA privacy and security regulations, says the AHA. The AHA has requested CMS to modify its proposed rule and give hospitals 30 days to make information available to patients upon discharge.