CMS Clarifies Rules on Texting Patient Health Information / by AzHHA

 Ann-Marie Alameddin, Vice President of Strategy and General Counsel

In a recent memo to state survey agency directors, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made clear that texting patient information is allowed as long as a secure texting platform is used. Providers must comply with HIPAA and meet the applicable conditions of participation to ensure that patient confidentiality is upheld and documentation requirements are met. CMS highlights the need to:

  • use secure, encrypted platforms to limit the risk of exposing patient information
  • develop and adhere to policies and procedures that ensure the security and integrity of the secure texting platform

CMS also restated its prohibition on texting orders, stating that orders should be entered into the patient medical record via a handwritten order or via CPOE.