On Wednesday, the Health IT Policy Committee discussed proposed criteria for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Healthcare IT News reports (Manos, Healthcare IT News, 4/5).
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 and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released two notices of proposed rulemaking on Stage 2 of the meaningful use program. The two notices are:
CMS' proposed rule, which outlines requirements for hospitals and health care providers seeking to attest to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program; and
ONC's proposed rule, which outlines standards and criteria for the certification of EHRs under Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.
The agencies expect to publish final rules for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program this summer (iHealthBeat, 3/12).
Discussion on Data Collection
During the Health IT Policy Committee meeting, panel members expressed concern that Stage 2 criteria would require eligible health care providers to collect data for too many measures.
Panel members said they were worried that the federal government might not use the collected measures to improve public health.
National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari agreed, saying that the federal government will need to link data collection with eliminating disparities so health care providers can understand why the data are being collected (Healthcare IT News, 4/5).
Discussion on Health Data Exchange
Micky Tripathi -- chair of the committee's information exchange panel and president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative -- said it is important to make the Stage 2 requirements for health data exchange clear and balanced so health care providers will have a better chance of meeting them.
He said the Policy Committee would like to restore its recommended requirement for hospitals to exchange structured laboratory data. This requirement was not included in the proposed Stage 2 rule that CMS released in February.
Tripathi noted that although CMS has said that the requirement might burden hospitals, he believes that some hospitals might see advantages in having a set standard for exchanging structured lab data (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 4/4).