Providers will have more flexibility with their systems.
Certain physicians and hospitals will have until 2016 to attest to meaningful use stage 2 (MU2), according to the new rule issue by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). For providers who began the meaningful use incentive program in 2011 or 2012, the timeline for meaningful use stage 3 (MU3) will begin in 2017.
Although the rule states that providers must use 2014-certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for the 2015 reporting period, it gives more flexibility for this year. The rule allows providers to use 2011- certified or a combination of 2011 and 2014-certified systems for the 2014 reporting period.
“We listened to stakeholder feedback and provided CEHRT flexibility for 2014 to help ensure providers can continue to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs forward,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a written statement. “We were excited to see that there is overwhelming support for this change.”
Attesting to MU2 has been a struggle for many providers and hospitals. According to CMS data released in July, of the 2,823 eligible providers, 972 have attested to MU2. Hospitals have fallen even further behind. The data showed that of the 128 eligible hospitals, only 10 had attested to MU2.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Sept. 4.