CMS, ONC Extend Meaningful Use

Posted on by Frank J. Rosello

A joint CMS and ONC blog post today divulges the government’s intentions to extend the timeline for meaningful use Stages 2 and 3.

“Under the revised schedule, Stage 2 would be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 would begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2,” explained acting national coordinator Jacob Reider, MD, and Rod Tagalicod, director of the CMS office of health standards and services.

“The goal of this change is two-fold: first, to allow CMS and ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2; and second, to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3,” they write.

CMS plans to release proposed rulemaking for Stage 3 in the fall of 2014 and corresponding ONC proposed rulemaking for the 2017 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria will also be released in the fall of 2014, which will outline further details for this proposed new timeline.

The final rule with all requirements for Stage 3 would follow in the first half of 2015. Stakeholder comments will be reviewed and considered before the release of the final rules, according to today’s announcement.

Brian Ahier, of Advanced Health Information Exchange Resources was not surprised upon hearing the news.

“I would have been more surprised had they not done this,” Ahier said. “Based on what the AHA, AMA and associations have been saying, it’s not like they’re going to get a lot of pushback from the industry on this.”

Article written by Tom Sullivan

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