The final rules for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program are expected to be released by the beginning of September, according to a CMS official, Bloomberg/BNA reports (Bloomberg/BNA, 8/15).
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.
Background on Stage 2
Earlier this year, CMS released a proposed rule outlining requirements for hospitals and health care providers seeking to attest to Stage 2. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT also released a proposed rule on the standards and criteria for the certification of EHR systems under Stage 2 of the program.
On July 16, CMS sent the Stage 2 final rule for health care providers to the Office of Management and Budget for review. On July 31, HHS sent to OMB the final rule outlining standards and criteria for the certification of EHR systems under Stage 2.
OMB review is one of the last steps before a rule is published in the Federal Register (iHealthBeat, 8/2).
CMS Official's Comments
Robert Anthony -- a specialist with CMS' Office of E-Health Standards and Services -- discussed the potential Stage 2 timeline during a Tuesday webinar sponsored by CMS and the Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (Bloomberg/BNA, 8/15).
He did not provide specific details about when the Stage 2 final rules would be published (Roney, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/16).
Also during the webinar, Anthony said that CMS will audit health care providers participating in the meaningful use program. He noted that the agency will focus on providers who show substantial noncompliance (Bloomberg/BNA, 8/15).