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CMS Proposes Changes to EHR Incentive Program; Extends Meaningful Use Stage 2

May 23, 2014—The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology issued a proposed rule May 20 that would adjust the Meaningful Use (MU) timeline and options to demonstrate MU in 2014.

Under the proposal, hospitals and eligible providers (EPs) that first demonstrated MU in 2011 and 2012 will begin stage 3 in 2017 instead of 2016. Providers that initially demonstrated MU in 2013 and 2014 will continue on the existing timeline. Hospitals and EPs scheduled to move to stage 2 in 2014 but instead meet the criteria for stage 1 will be required to begin stage 2 in 2015. In addition, the proposal changes options for reporting clinical quality measures (CQMs) for 2014. Comments are due July 21, and the AAMC will provide comments.

In the proposal, CMS and ONC recognize that many 2014 Edition Certified Electronic Health Record Technologies (CEHRT) were certified later than expected, and, therefore, hospitals and EPs were unable to effectively implement the upgraded technology into their workflows and systems. For the 2014 reporting period only, CMS and ONC propose to allow hospitals and EPs to continue to use 2011 Edition CEHRT if they are not able to fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT for the full EHR reporting period. For future reporting periods, 2014 Edition CEHRT will be required.

The proposal also contains changes to options for reporting CQMs. If a hospital or EP elects to use 2011 Edition CEHRT then they would report from the set of measures outlined in the Stage 1 Meaningful Use Final Rule. If a combination of 2011 Edition and 2014 Edition CEHRT is used the attest to 2014 Stage 1 objectives and measures, they also would report on Stage 1 Meaningful Use measures. For those using a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT and wishing to attest to Stage 2 objectives and measures, the provider would be required to report on measures outlined in the Stage 2 Meaningful Use final rule.

The proposed rule will be published in the May 23 issue of the Federal Register.


Evan Collins, MHA
Specialist, Clinical Operations and Policy
Telephone: 202-828-0552


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