IT Professionals Featured Article

January 20, 2011

EHR Meaningful Use for Stage 2 Open to Electronic Record User Recommendations

EHR vendors and electronic records users have an opportunity to shape the Stage 2 guidelines and criteria for meaningful use by submitting their comments to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) between now and Feb. 25. Comments should be based on the preliminary set of HITPC recommendations for meaningful use criteria that is available on their website.

Meeting the definitions and requirements for meaningful use of EHRs will determine healthcare providers’ eligibility for reimbursement incentives and certification of the Stage 2 implementation of electronic records adoption, which will take place in 2013 and 2014.

The HITPC has identified three goals in its request for public comment at this point:

  1. Provide some signal to the industry of potential new EHR functionalities that the HITPC may recommend to help the industry get a head start on developing new functionalities.
  2. Extend the public discussion of future stage MU definitions through a more formal public comment process well in advance of its formal final stage 2 recommendations to be issued in the summer of 2011.
  3. Request input on specific questions.

Following analysis of the comments received during the approximately 45-day public comment period, the HITPC intends to revisit these recommendations in its public meetings in the spring of 2011. At that time, the HITPC will be able to review public comments in the context of the early feedback from providers on experience with stage 1 MU. That input will come through many vehicles: the Medicare program, the Medicaid program (both federal and state constituencies), the HIT regional extension program, and other sources.

The HITECH portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 specifically mandated that incentives should be given to Medicare and Medicaid providers not simply for EHR adoption, but for demonstrating that a healthcare provider was using the new records systems effectively. MedHealth World has provided coverage of the final Stage 1 guidelines and regularly reports on the progress that physicians and hospitals are making in demonstrating meaningful use compliance.

Ms. Graham is a writer and editor with a current focus on health and wellness. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard
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