On Wednesday, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari said that the proposed regulations for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program will be posted online on Thursday, Modern Healthcare reports (LaFave Grace, Modern Healthcare, 2/22).
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
Background on Stage 2
In June 2011, Mostashari said that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT would give substantial consideration to the Stage 2 recommendations endorsed by the Health IT Policy Committee. The recommendations called for delaying Stage 2 until 2014 for health care providers attesting to Stage 1 in 2011.
Mostashari said that Stage 2 regulations are "not going to be identical" to the Policy Committee's recommendations but that they will "look a lot like what the Policy Committee recommendations said" (iHealthBeat, 6/28/11).
'Sneak Peek' of New Regulations
During a presentation at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's 2012 conference in Las Vegas, ONC officials provided a "sneak peek" of the Stage 2 proposed regulations, Healthcare IT News reports (Rowe, Healthcare IT News, 2/22).
Mostashari said that sharing health data will be a major component of the Stage 2 requirements. He said, "Here we come on interoperability and exchange," adding, "We have done whatever we can to increase the flexibility and decrease the burden of these regulations."
Timeline for Posting Stage 2 Requirements
Mostashari said a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Stage 2 requirements was sent to the Office of the Federal Register on Wednesday and is scheduled to be posted online on Thursday (Modern Healthcare, 2/22).
The Stage 2 proposed regulations will undergo a 60-day public comment period after they are published in the Federal Register. Officials hope to have the final rule out by summer 2012, according to Health Data Management (Goedert, Health Data Management, 2/20).
For more detailed coverage of the proposed Stage 2 regulations, check Thursday's iHealthBeat report.