Broadband Access Needed for EHR Incentive Programs

Physicians living in rural areas may struggle with some of the meaningful use measures, especially if their patients cannot access the information required. For this reason, there is an exclusion related to broadband access. TMA has received calls about how physicians can find out if they are eligible for this exclusion.  

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), "An eligible professional that conducts 50 percent or more of his or her patient encounters in a county that does not have 50 percent or more of its housing units with 3Mbps broadband availability, according to the latest information available from the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], on the first day of the EHR reporting period may exclude the second measure of the Patient Electronic Access objective and the Secure Electronic Messaging objective."  

The FCC's national broadband map allows eligible professionals to search, analyze, and map broadband availability in their area. Physicians concerned about patients having access to broadband should review the FCC's broadband map.  

If you need in-office EHR consulting, TMA recommends you contact the regional extension center (REC) in your area. Visit the TMA REC webpage for details on how the RECs can help.  

If you have questions related to the EHR meaningful use program, contact TMA's Health Information Technology Department by email or by calling (800) 880-5720.  

Action, Oct. 1, 2014

Last Updated On

September 30, 2014

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