When it comes to rewriting the rules of Meaningful Use, the View, Download and Transmit (VDT) objective was the original catalyst for change. Look into the history of the program and it will be clear that the main difference between the 2013 and 2014 definitions of Stage 1 is VDT. This objective took the ownership of requesting medical information out of the patients' hands in stage 1 2014 and changed it responsibility of the practice to provide a core set of clinical information to the patient through a secure, electronic platform. Now that most Eligible Providers (EP) will have to contend with this objective in Stage 2, it seems that the time has finally come for VDT to get its due share of the spotlight... Well sort of.
Meaningful Use Stage 1 requires that the patient have access to their health information online within four business days. This is pretty much an autopilot objective for any practice that has successfully implemented a patient portal. If a portal is certified for this objective, then they absolutely have the ability to provide the patient with the ability to view their information, and if they so chose, the ability to download and transmit a human readable (or xml) CCD.
Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires the same as stage 1 but with an extra measure for 5% of patient engagement to this objective. In the simplest terms, CMS is requiring that patients have access and login and see their information.
So quick recap: Stage 1 - provide the ability for VDT. Stage 2 - provide the ability for VDT and ensure patients actually do VDT. But wait, the proposed rule, which is rumored to be finalized soon, states that this objective will be getting a reboot for stage 2. Due to the fact that a majority of patients didn't get the memo that they are partly responsible for ensuring that a EP gets their incentive this year, CMS is now making the measure for patient engagement to be just 1. Not 1%, just one patient. This will essentially make the statement to the CMS and their auditor allies that the EP has the ability to do this and a solitary patient happened to perform the required technical action.