The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the next step to boost adoption of electronic health records by doctors and hospitals with the release of the final requirements for stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU).
The new rules outline what hospitals and health care providers must meet in order to qualify for incentives during the second stage of EHR adoption as provided for under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The requirements announced August 24th:
More than 120,000 eligible health care professionals and more than 3,300 hospitals have qualified to participate in the program and receive an incentive payment since it began in January 2011. That exceeds a 100,000 goal set earlier this year. Ohio is currently fourth in the nation for Medicaid MU payouts and seventh nationally for Medicare payouts. A total of 6,241 eligible Ohio providers and hospitals have received $268 million in Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Payments.
Natinally, that includes more than half of all eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals and 1 out of every 5 eligible health care professionals. The program is divided into three stages:
The CMS final rule also provides a flexible reporting period for 2014 to give providers sufficient time to adopt or upgrade to the latest EHR technology certified for 2014.
A fact sheet on CMS’s final rule is available at http://www.cms.gov/apps/media/fact_sheets.asp.
A detailed fact sheet on ONC’s standards and certification criteria final rule is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov/standardsandcertification.
The final rules may be viewed at http://www.ofr.gov/inspection.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1.
More information on the Stage 2 rule can be found at the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website at www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms.