CMS clarifies texting rules — 4 insights

CMS issued a memo concerning new rules related to texting in healthcare settings.

Here's what you should know:

1. Effective Dec. 28, 2017, CMS updated its rules governing texting among healthcare providers.

2. Texting patient information to another member of a healthcare team is allowed if the exchange takes place on a secure platform.

3. Texting of patient orders is prohibited in all instances.

4. Concerning patient orders, CMS prefers physicians use computerized provider order entry over other methods.

According to a statement, "CMS recognizes the use of texting as a means of communication with other members of the healthcare team has become an essential and valuable means of communication among team members. In order to be compliant ... all providers must utilize and maintain systems/platforms that are secure, encrypted, and minimize the risks to patient privacy and confidentiality as per HIPAA regulations."

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