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CMS MEDICARE AND MEDICAID EHR INCENTIVE PROGRAMS: STAGE 2 FINAL RULE 

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Contact:

CMS Office of Public Affairs
202-690-6145

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Rule Provisions

Through the Stage 2 requirements of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, CMS seeks to expand the meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Certified EHR technology used in a meaningful way is one piece of a broader health information technology infrastructure needed to reform the health care system and improve health care quality, efficiency, and patient safety. Highlights of the rule’s provisions follow:

Stage 2 Timing

In the Stage 1 meaningful use regulations, CMS established an original timeline that would have required Medicare providers who first demonstrated meaningful use in 2011 to meet the Stage 2 criteria in 2013. The Stage 2 rule gives providers more time to meet Stage 2 criteria. A provider that attested to Stage 1 of meaningful use in 2011 would attest to Stage 2 in 2014, instead of in 2013.   Therefore, providers are not required to meet Stage 2 meaningful use before 2014.   The table below illustrates the progression of meaningful use stages from the first year a Medicare provider begins participation in the program.

1st

Year

Stage of Meaningful Use

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2011

1

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

2012

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

TBD

2013

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

TBD

2014

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

TBD

2015

1

1

2

2

3

3

TBD

2016

1

1

2

2

3

3

2017

1

1

2

2

3

For 2014 only, providers that are beyond the first year of demonstrating meaningful use will have a 3-month quarter reporting period to allow an additional up to 9 months to upgrade certified EHR technology to the 2014 edition.

The final rule reduces some thresholds for achieving certain measures and modifies criteria for exclusions to respond to difficulties commenters identified in implementing certain objectives in certain situations. For example, for some objectives CMS has added exclusions based on broadband availability that allow providers in rural or underserved areas to achieve meaningful use with fewer hurdles. Please click here to read the entire article offered by CMS