Return to Blog Listing

CMS Issues Guidance on Texting for all Medicare Providers

The Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey and Certification has issued a memorandum addressing texting to clarify their position for Medicare certified providers. CMS advises that they understand that texting has emerged as a valued way to support communication among the healthcare team, but has established parameters or ‘guardrails’ for the practice.

Briefly, CMS advises:

  • Texting patient information among members of the healthcare team is permitted if done via a secure platform.
    • All providers are expected to utilize and maintain systems/platforms that are secure, encrypted, and minimize the risks to patient privacy and confidentiality as per HIPAA regulations
  • Texting patient orders is “…prohibited regardless of the platform” used, even if it involves texting from one care team member to another.
  • Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) is the preferred method of order entry. 

While the memorandum quotes hospital regulation related to orders, CHAP’s CMS contact has clarified that the guidelines apply to all certified organizations. 

To read the full memo click here.