MU2 #10 – Electronic Exchange of Information: The Summary of Care Measure, Part 2

 In Articles, Meaningful Use

This is Part 10 in a series provided by Jeanne Chamberlin, Director of EMR Consulting, at MSOC Health. Visit our blog site to see articles 1-9. 

In Stage 2, the Summary of Care Measure is a Core (required) Measure and has three parts. In our last post, we discussed the definition of a Transition of Care and what must be included in a Summary of Care Document. If you have fewer than 100 referrals or transitions of care during the reporting period, you can claim an exclusion from all 3 parts of this measure. Remember that in 2014 the reporting period will be only 3 months, so some providers may qualify for the exclusion, although they won’t in 2015 when you will report for a full calendar year. A provider who has more than 100 referrals must provide a Summary of Care Document to the receiving provider for over 50% of referrals or transitions of care. This is Part 1 of the Measure.

Part 2:  The Summary of Care document for 10% of your referrals or transitions of care must be sent electronically.

A fax that is generated, either on paper or through a fax server, does not qualify as being “sent electronically.” All EHR products that have received 2014 certification will have a mechanism that allows you to generate a copy of the Summary of Care in a specific electronic format (called CCDA format) as well as a mechanism to allow you to send this file electronically to other providers.

Most EHRs are embedding a service provided by Surescripts or a similar vendor into their product. This will work very much like eprescribing with the electronic Summary of Care being sent to the physician you select. Some EHRs have an additional, easier mechanism to send the electronic Summary of Care to other providers using the same EHR software. Still others have partnered with a statewide or regional Health Information Exchange, and the document will be submitted to this entity and then forwarded to the provider you designate.

It will be very important for you to understand from your vendor what steps are required to create the electronic Summary of Care Document, to select and send to the appropriate provider, to verify that the document was received, and to ensure that the activity is counted in the Meaningful Use Reports generated by your EHR. You may also be the receiving provider for Summary of Care Documents sent from other providers. You’ll need to know how to acknowledge receipt of the document, and how to upload the file into your EHR. A few EHRs have developed the capacity to upload the document directly into your patient’s chart, avoiding the need to manually enter medications, allergies and problem lists; however most EHRs will simply allow you to print out the Summary of Care document and then scan it back into the chart.

Part 3:  At least one Summary of Care Document must be successfully exchanged with a recipient using an EHR technology from a different vendor.

When you successfully send a Summary of Care document to a provider that has a different EHR and receive acknowledgement of its receipt be sure to document this event, including the patient ID, date of service, date the Document was sent and date it was acknowledged along with the receiving provider’s name. Keep this with your Meaningful Use documentation.

CMS provides an alternate mechanism to meet Part 3 of this measure. It was designed for providers whose referral partners use the same EHR vendor. You will be able to generate and send a Summary of Care Document on a Test Patient to an EHR designated by CMS and document that test. Contact your vendor for assistance. Providers in the same practice can conduct one test and use it to attest for all providers; EHRs vendors with software-as-a-service products will be able to conduct one test and provide documentation that can be used by all users of that EHR.

Visit the CMS Specification Sheet for each Stage 2 Measure.

Need help unraveling the complexities of Meaningful Use? MSOC Health can help! Contact Jeanne Chamberlin, Director of EMR Consulting at 919-442-2422 or

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