Based on requirements set out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, providers can earn Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 federal incentives if they demonstrate that five percent of patients are using secure portals to view, download and transmit their health information. Although less than 720 hospitals have met MU Stage 2 requirements so far, the survey shows an appetite among Americans to use the portals.
While security remains a concern, the survey found many are simply unaware of patient portals. Among those who do not use patient portals, 35 percent did not know a portal was available and 31 percent said their physician had never spoken to them about portals. Among Americans who do use online patient portals, 59 percent say they have been much more interested and proactive in their personal healthcare since they received access.