Several healthcare industry news outlets, including Modern Healthcare, are reporting that CMS is extending the deadline that providers are required to show Stage 2 “Meaningful Use” criteria of electronic health records (EMR).
The overall deadline is delayed for one full year and, according to Modern Healthcare, Stage 2 of the CMS incentive program to encourage EMR adoption will be extended through 2016. Stage 3 won’t begin until at least fiscal year 2017 for hospitals and calendar year 2017 for physicians and other eligible professionals that have by then completed at least two years at Stage 2.
CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS say that the delay is intended help both federal entities focus on helping providers meet Stage 2’s demands for patient engagement, interoperability and information exchange, as well as use data collected during that phase to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.
The proposed rules relative to the requirements providers must meet for Stage 3, as well as the 2017 Edition of standards that health IT developers must build and test their systems to match, are expected to be released in the fall of 2014 .
The Modern Healthcare article noted that the program, created under the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has paid out about $17 billion since January 2011, according to the latest CMS data.
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