Meet Mandate for Patients’ Online Access to Medical Records

Many physicians are struggling with the meaningful use Stage 2 measure that stipulates physicians must "provide patients the ability to view online, download, and transmit their health information within four business days of the information being available to the eligible provider (EP)."

The measure requires that physicians do this for more than 50 percent of all patients seen during the reporting period (which is full year for 2015). A second section requires that more than 5 percent of all patients seen during the reporting period must view, download, or transmit to a third party their health information. View a tip sheet on the Patient Electronic Access on CMS's website.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says on its meaningful use specification sheet that access to health information is "when a patient possesses all of the necessary information needed to view, download, or transmit their information. This could include providing patients with instructions on how to access their health information, the website address they must visit for online access, a unique and registered username or password, instructions on how to create a login, or any other instructions, tools or materials that patients need in order to view, download, or transmit their information."

Your responsibility is to provide your patients with enough information to access their information, according to the CMS definition. If patients choose not to access it, physicians can still count them in the numerator. It's imperative that patient information is uploaded and available to patients within four days of a visit.

For questions about the incentive program and other health information technology needs, contact TMA's Department of Health Information Technology at (800) 880-5720 or by email

Action - Feb. 2, 2015

Last Updated On

January 08, 2016