For an EHR reporting period in 2017, for more than 5% of unique patients seen by the provider during the EHR reporting period, a secure message must be sent using the electronic messaging function of the certified EHR technology (CEHRT) to the patient (or the patient-authorized representative), or in response to a secure message sent by the patient (or the patient-authorized representative) during the EHR reporting period.
Exclusion (learn more)
Any EP who has no office visits during the EHR reporting period, or any EP who conducts 50% or more of his or her patient encounters in a county that does not have 50% or more of its housing units with 4Mbps broadband availability according to the latest information available from the FCC on the first day of the EHR reporting period.
Denominator: Number of unique patients seen by the provider during the EHR reporting period.
Numerator: The number of patients in the denominator for whom a secure electronic message is sent to the patient (or patient-authorized representative), or in response to a secure message sent by the patient (or patient-authorized representative).
Practice Fusion workflow
An administrator must enable secure messaging by clicking the Settings in the upper right-hand corner of your Practice Fusion account and selecting Patient Communications.
Within the Patient Communication Settings, select the Patient Messages tab. To opt in to patient messaging, turn on the "Enable secure messaging" toggle button. Enabling or disabling patient messaging will update this setting for the entire practice. This setting must be enabled and stay enabled during the reporting period to receive credit for this objective on the Meaningful Use dashboard.
Once messaging is enabled, every member of your practice can use the feature to message patients. After you enroll a patient in the PHR, the patient can complete enrollment using the unique PIN that you give to them and then utilize the Patient Fusion messaging feature to send a message to your practice. We recommend that patients use Chrome or Firefox as their web browser.
To message your patients, navigate to the Messages section and select New Message. Select "Patient" in the To field and begin typing your patient's name. You may only message patients who have completed patient portal registration. Once you have composed your message, click Send.
For more information, please see:
Do my patients need to message me and do I have to respond to my patient messages?
For the 2015 reporting year, patients do not need to message nor do you need to reply back to or initiate a patient message. The patient messaging feature simply needs to be enabled for the reporting period. In 2017, for at least one patient seen by the provider during the EHR reporting period, a secure message must be sent during the calendar year. Alternatively, the provider must respond to a secure message sent by the patient (or patient authorized representative) during the calendar year.
Review the CMS specifications more information about this measure.
For more information on the EHR Incentive program, you should visit the Meaningful Use Center.