Frequently Asked Questions


[EHR Incentive Programs] For the meaningful use objective of "capability to exchange key clinical information" in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, what forms of electronic transmission can be used to meet the measure of the objective?

For the purposes of the "capability to exchange key clinical information" measure, exchange is defined as electronic transmission and acceptance of key clinical information using the capabilities and standards of certified EHR technology (as specified at 45 CFR 170.304(i) for eligible professionals and 45 CFR 170.306(f) for eligible hospitals and cricitcal access hospitals). There are many acceptable transmission methods for conducting a test of the electronic exchange of key clinical information with providers of care and patient authorized entities (see FAQ #) To meet the measure of this objective a provider must:
use certified EHR technology to generate a continuity of care document (CCD)/continuity of care record (CCR), and electronically transmit the CCD/CCR.
To complete step 2, an eligible professional, eligible hospital, or critical access hospital may use any means of electronic transmission according to any transport standard(s) (SMTP, FTP, REST, SOAP, etc.) regardless of whether it was included by an EHR technology developer as part of the certified EHR technology in the eligible professional’s, eligible hospital’s, or critical access hospital’s possession.

Please note that the use of USB, CD-ROM, or other physical media or electronic fax would not meet the measure of this objective and has been addressed in another FAQ (see FAQ #10638)  If the test involves the transmission of actual patient information, all current privacy and security regulations must be met.

For more information about the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please visit

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