The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released its final rule on the criteria for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use of health information technology. Beginning in 2014, providers who are participating in the Medicaid and Medicare Meaningful Use incentive program must meet Stage 2 criteria during their third year of participation in order to continue receiving payments.
The final rule addresses a number of concerns raised by hospitals and providers that they would not have sufficient time to meet the Stage 2 criteria in 2014. Now, providers who have already met Stage 1 criteria for 2 consecutive years will have to demonstrate meaningful use in just one quarter of 2014 (rather than the whole year). The Meaningful Use criteria for Stage 2 will include 17 core measures (up from 15 in Stage 1) plus any three of six optional measures (down from five of ten in Stage 1).
The rule also makes modifications to how Medicaid patient volume is calculated for participation in the Medicaid Meaningful Use program. CMS has released an Overview Tipsheet outlining the major components of the final rule. The full text of the rule is available here; it will be published on September 4 in the Federal Register.