Computer Sciences Corporation has released a report examining the lessons learned from Stage 1 of the meaningful use incentive program and predicting changes that could be introduced in Stage 2, Health Data Management reports.
Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments.
The report -- titled, "Moving Ahead with Stage 2 of Meaningful Use" -- includes a summary of Stage 1 criteria and recommendations to help health care providers prepare for Stage 2 attestation. HHS is expected to soon release proposed rules for Stage 2.
About Stage 1
Out of the menu of options that Stage 1 attesters could comply with, the report found that hospitals and eligible professionals most often deferred the criteria on:
- Electronically transmitting summary records;
- Reconciling medications; and
- Submitting syndromic surveillance data.
According to the report, nearly two-thirds of eligible professionals who attested to Stage 1 deferred the requirement to give patients access to their electronic data.
Recommendations for Stage 2
The report predicted that:
- Stage 2 criteria will be more challenging than the Stage 1 requirements; and
- Stage 1 menu options will become requirements under Stage 2 (Goedert, Health Data Management, 2/7).
The report's authors wrote, "Now is the time for organizations to work in earnest to build capabilities to engage patients, coordinate care and electronically report on quality."
The report recommended that health care providers:
- Give patients access to their health data through EHR systems or patient portals;
- Capture physician notes electronically, including notes about diagnosis and treatment; and
- Exchange patient data during transitions in care (Drazen/Metzer, CSC report, 2/6).