Stage 2 Meaningful Use Has Arrived

Stage 2 Meaningful Use Rule Announced at HIMSS

With all the speculation about when we would hear about the release of the Stage 2 meaningful use rule, I have to wonder why no one was saying, “at the Education Session at HIMSS on Wednesday morning”? After all the title of that session was Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program: Stage 2 Meaningful Use NPRM Overview. Sounds to me like they might talk about the rule in this one. And of course they did.

First up to speak, ONC Farzard Mostashari, first thing he has to say, “Rule went to the Federal Register today, we will see it tomorrow”. Of course in real time that translates to, rules went to the Federal Register on Wednesday and we will see the draft document that was submitted on Thursday. Once published in the Register the 60-day public comment period begins.

So they have “listened and learned” but as Mostashari has said before “we can’t wait 5 years to get standards based exchange”. Talking about the rule he says they have pushed on standards based exchange, patient engagement, patient safety in hospitals, and standards. They have chosen single standards for transport, laboratory exchanges, problem lists, and vocabularies. Exchanges will be real exchanges not just tests. Public health submissions will be real submissions with data not tests. Specialists will see more flexibility added. There will be an extension of stage 1 meaningful use but keeping the first year as a 90-day reporting period and avoiding payment adjustments.

Setting himself up twice for applause during his twelve minute briefing, he told us there would be viewing of images by the provider through the EHR. And you will only be required to have EHR certified functions that you need for attesting. And for both he got his applause. Overall he believes the rule has an increase in flexibility and a decrease in burden.

In the next week we will all be combing through the expected tome and I am sure we will hear more opinions on Stage 2 meaningful use than we really want to.

Stay tuned.