The Health IT Policy Committee's meaningful use work group has recommended a delay
of one year for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program for health care providers attesting to achieving Stage 1 criteria this year, Modern Healthcare
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
Adhering to the original timeline of implementing Stage 2 by 2013 "poses a nearly insurmountable timing challenge for those who attest to meaningful use in 2011," according to the work group (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 6/8).
The work group added, "With the anticipated release of the final rule for Stage 2 in June, 2012, it would require EHR vendors to design, develop and release new functionality, and for eligible hospitals to upgrade, implement and begin using the new functionality by the beginning of the reporting year in October of 2012" (Goedert, Health Data Management, 6/8).
Under the work group's recommendations, health care providers attesting to Stage 1 criteria this year would have until 2014 to meet Stage 2 requirements. The 2014 deadline for meeting Stage 2 criteria would stand for health care providers who attest to meeting Stage 1 criteria next year.
The recommendations were based on seven public hearings, testimony from about 100 individuals and more than 400 public comments.
The Health IT Policy Committee will review the recommendations, which then would go to National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari.
The recommendations then would go to CMS for rulemaking (Modern Healthcare, 6/8).