The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today proposed a new timeline for the implementation of meaningful use. The post written by Jacob Reider, Acting National Coordinator for Health Information Technology , and Robert Tagalicod, Director, Office of E-Health Standards and Services on Health IT Buzz states:
“Under the revised timeline, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2. 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.
The phased approach to program participation helps providers move from creating information in Stage 1, to exchanging health information in Stage 2, to focusing on improved outcomes in Stage 3. This approach has allowed us to support an aggressive yet smart transition for providers.
This new proposed timeline tracks ongoing conversations we at CMS and ONC have had with providers, consumers, health care associations, EHR developers, and other stakeholders in the health care industry. This timeline allows for enhanced program analysis of Stage 2 data to inform the improvements in care delivery outcomes in Stage 3.”
Key Benefits of Meaningful Use Extension
The post cited the following five key benefits of the proposed meaningful use timeline:
- More analysis of feedback from stakeholders on Stage 2 progress and outcomes;
- More available data on Stage 2 adoption and measure calculations – especially on new patient engagement measures and health information exchange objectives;
- More consideration of potential Stage 3 requirements;
- Additional time for preparation for enhanced Stage 3 requirements;
- Ample time for developers to create and distribute certified EHR technology before Stage 3 begins, and incorporate lessons learned about usability and customization.
Under the new timeline, eligible providers who have completed at least two years of Stage 2 would begin Stage 3 in 2017.