Work Group Finalizing Input on Meaningful Use Stage 2 Proposed Rule

TOPIC ALERT:

On Monday, the Health IT Policy Committee's quality measures work group met in Washington, D.C., to discuss its final recommendations for the proposed rule for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 4/23).

Background

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

In February, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking on Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, which outlines requirements for hospitals and health care providers seeking to attest to Stage 2 of the program (iHealthBeat, 4/18).

Details of Meeting

At the meeting, work group members discussed how clinical quality measures for physicians and other eligible health providers could be best incorporated into Stage 2 requirements.

The group favored a requirement in the proposed rule that would make eligible health care providers select and submit 12 clinical quality measures from a group of 125 possible measures. At least one measure would have to apply to each of six quality "domains," including:

  • Care coordination;
  • Clinical process/effectiveness;
  • Efficient use of health resources;
  • Patient and family engagement;
  • Patient safety; and
  • Population and public health.

Potential Problems

However, Eva Powell -- a member of the work group and director of the health IT program at the National Partnership for Women & Families -- said there are potential problems with the requirement, including the difficulty of developing measures that are applicable for all medical specialties.

In its draft list of recommendations, the work group stated that specialists would face "a significant challenge" finding 12 measures that would be appropriate for their practices and also would apply to all six domains.

Timeline

The work group is scheduled to meet again on Friday.

It will present its final list of recommendations to the full Health IT Policy Committee on May 4 (Modern Healthcare, 4/23).

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