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CMS releases proposed Stage 2 meaningful use EHR objectives

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released Feb. 23 a proposed rule for the second stage of meaningful use objectives for health care providers in the process of adopting electronic health records.

Like the Stage 1 objectives, Stage 2 has a "core set" or mandatory objectives and "menu set" of optional objectives; eligible professionals would choose from three of five possible menu set objectives and hospitals would choose from two of four possible menu set objectives.

In addition, CMS says it's proposing changes to Stage 1 objectives including a change in the measure for the use of computerized physician order entry of medication. The current Stage 1 measure requires providers to track number of unique patients receiving at least one medication; the proposed change would alter that measure to number of measurable orders for medications.

The proposed Stage 1 revisions would also eliminate the objective of "exchange of key clinical information" under the premise that Stage 2 objectives would include more robust objectives and measures to support information exchange.

For example, a proposed core requirement centered around patient transition from one setting to another would measure whether the first provider could provide a summary of care record to the second.

Under a one-year extension granted by the Health and Human Services Department in November, medical care providers have until 2014 to demonstrate the meaningful use of EHRs under Stage 1 and Stage 2 criteria. Starting in 2015, Medicare payments will go down to providers who haven't demonstrated meaningful use. The deadline for the final stage of meaningful use, Stage 3, is still planned to be 2016.

For more:
- go to a press release announcing the proposed Stage 2 objectives
- see the proposed Stage 2 Core Set
- see the proposed Stage 2 Menu Set
- see proposed Stage 1 changes

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