CMS soon will release modifications for certain provisions in the final rule for Stage 1 of the "meaningful use" incentive program, Government Health IT reports.
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for incentive payments through Medicaid and Medicare.
Tony Trenkle -- director of the Office of e-Health Standards and Services at CMS -- said the adjustments to the meaningful use criteria currently are undergoing a federal clearance process, which is the final step before publication. Trenkle spoke on Wednesday during a Health IT Policy Committee meeting.
Trenkle added that CMS also will release guidance for health care providers on how to meet quality measures in the incentive program.
Discussion of Stages 2, 3
During the meeting, the Policy Committee also considered what incentive requirements to include in the next stages of the meaningful use program.
Committee members discussed whether Stage 2 meaningful use requirements -- which are expected to go into effect in 2013 -- should be incrementally built on requirements from Stage 1, or if there should be a set of larger steps framed around measuring and improving patient outcomes.
Paul Tang -- chair of the meaningful use work group and chief medical information officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation -- said the committee would prefer to establish the Stage 3 goals for 2015 first and then backtrack to form Stage 2 requirements.
Committee member Latanya Sweeney -- director of the data privacy lab at Carnegie Mellon University -- said future meaningful use criteria should incorporate privacy regulations (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 10/20).
National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal said that the rollout of Stage 1 of the meaningful use criteria "was very rushed" (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 10/21). He added that the next stages should focus on infrastructure and interoperability.
Tang said that the meaningful use work group aims to have draft requirements for Stages 2 and 3 by Nov. 19, adding that it will revise the draft after taking comments from the full Policy Committee.
He said final recommendations could be submitted to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT by the third quarter of 2011, while CMS could release a notice of proposed rulemaking on the next stages by the fourth quarter of next year (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 10/21).