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CMS Releases Meaningful Use Stage 2 Proposed Rule

February 24, 2012—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Feb. 23 issued a proposed rule defining the second stage of “meaningful use” for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive programs.  This rule follows the release of the Stage 1 requirements that were finalized on July 28, 2010.  The proposed rule will have a 60-day comment period that will begin when the rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected to be on March 7.

The proposed rule defines the Stage 2 meaningful use requirements that hospitals and eligible professionals (EPs) must meet to be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments.  The criteria CMS proposes for Stage 2 focus on increasing the electronic capture of health information in a structured format and on increasing the exchange of clinically relevant information between providers of care at care transitions.  Under the rule, hospitals would be required to meet (or qualify for an exclusion for) 17 core objectives, 3 of 5 menu objectives, and 24 clinical quality measures.  EPs would be required to meet (or qualify for an exclusion for) 16 core objectives, 2 of 4 menu objectives, and 12 clinical quality measures.

In addition to defining the meaningful use Stage 2 criteria, the rule proposes several changes to the Stage 1 criteria and proposes to delay the implementation of Stage 2 requirements until 2014.  CMS also proposes that any Medicare hospital or EP demonstrating meaningful use in 2013 would avoid payment adjustments when penalties go into effect in 2015.


Ivy Baer, J.D., M.P.H.
Senior Director and Regulatory Counsel
Telephone: 202-828-0499


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806