6 things you need to know about the MU2 final rule

September 25, 2012

New revisions have been made to meaningful use. See what you need to know before the January effective date.

Key Points

Now that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) has announced the "final rule" for attestation of meaningful use (MU) stage 2, what does it mean to you?

Primary care physicians (PCPs) and other eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) now can review the upcoming MU stage 2 requirements.

The final rule revises certain MU stage 1 criteria as well as establishes criteria for stage 2 of MU attestation. Additionally, it specifies the payment adjustments (read: reductions) to Medicare reimbursements that EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs can expect should they fail to demonstrate MU of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.

ASKING QUESTIONS CRITICAL

Elizabeth Holland, director, Health Information Technology (HIT) Initiatives Group, and Robert Anthony, policy analyst, are both with the Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS). They spoke with Medical Economics after a National eHealth Collaborative live Web seminar in which Anthony outlined the most significant new revisions in the MU final rule. OESS is a division of CMS.

"Providers have to have successfully attested to MU use no later than October 1, 2014, to avoid payment adjustments, so our goal is to assist as many people as we possibly can," Holland says. "We have resource centers and lots of information on our Web site. We're here to help."

"It's critical for providers to ask their EHR vendors detailed questions and to be informed about the products they're buying," Anthony says. "There are a lot of EHR products out there. Knowing that an EHR can meet MU is great, and that's the knowledge that certification provides. But whether the EHR specifically fits your practice's needs-whether it has the ability to integrate with your other systems- only your vendor can answers those questions."