Robert Hudock Quoted in “CMS Clarifies Policy on Texting Patient Info within Healthcare Teams”


Robert J. Hudock, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in MobiHealthNews, in “CMS Clarifies Policy on Texting Patient Info within Healthcare Teams,” by Dave Muoio.

Following is an excerpt:

Following some confusion, a Survey & Certification Letter sent last week has reaffirmed CMS’s stance on texting patient information, specifying that messages sent among clinicians are permissible so long as healthcare teams use a secure platform. Texting patient orders, however, is still prohibited across all platforms.

CMS’s clarification comes shortly after a December 18th report from the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) that raised concerns about the center’s policy. The policy outlined in Thursday’s letter now mirrors the current position of the Joint Commission, which underwent its own series of flip-flops on the subject in 2016. …

In the HCCA’s report, the association wrote that at least two hospitals had received emails from CMS saying that “texting is not permitted” regardless of whether the texting application was secure. These email correspondences cited meetings with secure texting app vendors and the Medicare Condition of Participation’s section about the retention of medical records and their confidentiality as factors in the center’s no-texting decision.

“If texting solutions are good for highly classified military applications, they’re probably appropriate for hospitals,” Robert Hudock, member at Epstein Becker & Green, said in the HCCA report. “This is almost like going back to the dark ages.”