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Frustration flares in ONC's MU workgroup debate

The HIT Policy Committee's Meaningful Use Workgroup struggled to reach consensus on key Stage 2 requirements, with some accusing the group of being timid in certain areas, and others characterizing the proposed requirements as unrealistic in the given timeframe. Specifically in the area of providing patients with electronic access to their hospital visit summaries through a Web-based portal, tempers flared at the April 5 meeting of the HIT Policy Committee, convened by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Arguing that the workgroup seemed willing to add requirements around provider-to-provider electronic transmission, yet balked at those dealing with provider-to-patient transmission, Christine Bechtel, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, said, "We have to be careful about our tendency to raise the bar [to receive our endorsement] with anything around patients and families, and to question them in a way we don't question things for providers. We have to find a way to do this in Stage 2, in 2013, when everyone else and their mother can communicate over the Internet."

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