The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has updated its guidance for hospitals and critical access hospitals to permit health care team members to share patient information and orders with each other through a HIPAA-compliant secure texting platform that complies with Medicare and Medicaid conditions of participation. CMS acknowledged that improvements in technology and encryption now allow secure texting that will transfer data into electronic health records.  

AHA had requested that CMS consider updating its guidance in light of these developments and in recognition of the opportunity to promptly get needed treatments to patients while reducing burden on clinicians. “We are grateful that CMS considered the issue and choose to make this change. It will be good for patients and providers,” stated Stephen Hughes, AHA director for health information technology policy.

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