CMS: Providers Scheduled for MU2 Can Attest Again to MU1 in 2014

A proposed rule published Tuesday would give providers more flexibility in attesting to meaningful use during the 2014 reporting period.

Under the proposed rule, providers that were not able to fully implement 2014 Edition certified EHR technology in time to successfully attest to meaningful use would be able to use 2011 Edition CEHRT a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition to attest to either stage 1 or stage 2. Providers would also be able to attest to meaningful use under the 2013 reporting year definition and use 2013's clinical quality measures.

"Increasing the adoption of EHRs is key to improving the nation's healthcare system and the steps we are taking today will give new options to those who, through no fault of their own, have been unable to get the new 2014 Edition technology, including those at high risk, such as smaller providers and rural hospitals," said Karen DeSalvo, MD, the national coordinator for health IT, in a statement.  

For the 2015 reporting period, all providers would have to use 2014 Edition CEHRT.

Many industry organizations have called on CMS and ONC to increase the flexibility of the meaningful use program, calls that increased after CMS announced just four hospitals had attested to stage 2 during the first half of the 2014 reporting period. Concerns about vendor readiness and delays in the delivery of 2014 Edition CEHRT were often cited as significant barriers to successful attestation.

The proposed rule would also formalize the previously announced extension of meaningful use stage 2 through 2016.

"We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR incentive programs since they began," said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a statement. "By extending stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward."

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