Here is the latest information on the proposed timeline changes for Stage 3 of Meaningful Use. The final ruling is not expected until the fall of 2014. Because the proposed change is to start Stage 3 in 2017 instead of 2016 this appears to only affect the schedules of those providers who met their first year of Meaningful Use in 2012 or before by giving them a third year of Stage Two attestation.
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new timeline for the implementation of meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) proposed a more regular approach to update ONC’s certification regulations.
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.
The proposed timeline for meaningful use would have a number of benefits, such as:
- 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.
Expected Timing for Rulemaking
We expect that in the fall of 2014 CMS will release proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3 and corresponding ONC NPRM for the 2017 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria will be released in the fall of 2014, which will outline further details for this proposed new timeline. The final rule with all requirements for Stage 3 would follow in the first half of 2015. All stakeholder comments will be reviewed and carefully considered before the release of the final rules.
What the New Timeline Would Mean for Providers
Eligible providers who have completed at least two years of Stage 2 would begin Stage 3 in 2017. We currently anticipate that eligible professionals would begin in January 2017, at the start of the calendar year.”
You can read the full article here: http://www.healthit.gov/buzz-blog/electronic-health-and-medical-records/progress-adoption-electronic-health-records/
We will keep you apprised of any additional changes.