Key meaningful-use deadline may be extended

William Olson

William Olson
Chief financial officer
Oregon Region

Many of you may have seen that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a new timeline for eligible hospitals and health care professionals to demonstrate significant “meaningful use” of electronic health records.

CMS is considering allowing providers more time to comply with Stage 2 of this financial incentive program, extending the deadline into 2016 and pushing Stage 3 into 2017.

I wanted to share pertinent points from this announcement:

  • This is not a delay to the start of Stage 2.
  • This is still a proposed change. Providence’s meaningful use team will alert you to any news related to this change as it becomes available.
  • There are also proposed changes to how and when Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will publish certification standards.

CMS reported in December that 85 percent of eligible hospitals and more than 60 percent of eligible professionals have earned financial incentives for meeting Stage 1 technology criteria. These included standardizing electronic health records formats, such as our Epic platform; digitally tracking key clinical conditions; and using the system to report quality measures and engage patients and families in care decisions.

Stage 2 requires, in part, more rigorous health information exchanges across organizations; boosts the requirements for electronic prescribing and digital lab services; and focuses on more patient-controlled data.

We know there have been varying interpretations of this recent announcement, but it is urgent that we continue to move forward until CMS confirms that it intends to delay Stage 2.

Providence Health & Services’ meaningful use teams will continue to monitor for additional developments. In the meantime, please direct questions to Cheyenne Thomas or Jamie Bockness.

Related
CHIME: Stage 2 Extension Doesn’t Change Reporting Timelines, Health Data Management
CMS reveals stage 2 and 3 meaningful use extension, Government Health IT
Meaningful-use deadline pushed back one year, Modern Healthcare