CMS Releases Final Rule for Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Program

CMS has released the final requirements that hospitals and healthcare providers must meet to qualify for incentives during stage 2 of the electronic health record incentive program.

The meaningful use stage 2 requirements aim to increase health information exchange between providers and promote patient engagement by giving patients secure online access to health information.

"The changes we're announcing today will lead to more coordination of patient care, reduced medical errors, elimination of duplicate screenings and tests and greater patient engagement in their own care," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a news release.

Here are a few key points about the stage 2 requirements:

• Stage 2 will begin as early as 2014, and no providers will be required to follow the Stage 2 requirements before then.
• The certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology is clearly outlined, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they use will work, help them meaningfully use health IT and qualify for incentive payments.
• Modifications have been made to the certification program, which cut the red tape and make the certification process more efficient.
• Current "2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology" may be used until 2014.
• There is a flexible reporting period for 2014 to give providers sufficient time to adopt or upgrade to the latest EHR technology certified for 2014.

More Articles on Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program:

Stage 2 Meaningful Use Final Rule Expected by September
Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records: Does it Improve Health Outcomes?
October 3 is Last Day for Eligible Professionals to Begin Medicare EHR Incentive Program Reporting Period

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