On December 6, 2013, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Sciences (CMS) has proposed a revised timeline for implementing Meaningfully Usable Electronic Health Record systems. Click here to know more about the revised timeline for Stage 2.
On August 23, 2012, the Federal Government finally released the final rules for Meaningful Use Stage 2. Following the Notice for Proposed Rule Making which was released on March 7, 2012, and end of comment period on May 7, 2012, the final rules are targeted towards healthcare providers to promote the implementation of EHR/EMRs and improve the health information exchange between providers and patients. In addition to data collection, Stage 2 meaningful use also stresses on improving care.
The final rules released by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):
- Assures that Stage 2 Meaningful Use will commence from early 2014. Providers need not adhere to Stage 2 requirements before 2014
- Provides the certification criteria for the Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) that assures the eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) to quality for incentives
- Modifications to the certification process; more efficient process is put in place
- Permit use of “2011 Edition of Certification Criteria” until 2014
How many measures are there in Stage 2 Meaningful Use?
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized the following for EPs and EHs:
- Total of 20 measures for EPs and 19 measures for EHs
- EPs must qualify a total of 17 Core Objectives and 3 out of 6 Menu Objectives
- EHs and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) must qualify a total of 16 Core Objectives and 3 out of 6 Menu Objectives
How many Clinical Quality Measures are in Stage 2?
The final rules define the process with which EPs, EHs, and CAHs can submit the Clinical Quality Measures data electronically.
- EPs must submit 9 CQMs from at least 3 domains out of potential list of 64 CQMs across 6 domains for both adult population and pediatric population
- EHs and CAHs must submit 16 CQMs from at least 3 domains out of potential list of 29 CQMs across 6 domains
- For Medicare Incentive program, EPs can submit CQM data via attestation in the first year, and electronically via CMS-designated transmission beyond the first year. For EPs, it includes an aggregate electronic submission through a method specified by Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)
- EHs and CAHs can submit patient level data through a technique similar to Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Patient level data must be submitted using Quality Reporting Data Architecture (QRDA) Category I format, and aggregate data using (QRDA) Category III format
What are the major changes in Stage 2 Meaningful Use?
The following are the major changes in Stage 2 Meaningful Use from the Stage 1 rules:
- “Exchange of clinical information” – a Core Objective in Stage 1 is re-evaluated as “Transition of Care” in Stage 2
- “Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information” is replaced by “View online, download, and transmit” (Core) objective
- Increase in the threshold of measures that must be achieved by providers for measures retained from Stage 1
- Allowance for “batch attestation” for providers. Group providers need not attest one-by-one for participation in the program
- New menu option for “outpatient lab reporting” for hospitals and new menu objective for “recording clinical notes” for both physicians and hospitals
Click here to read the Stage 2 Final Rules in detail.
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