Prior to the Meaningful Use Workgroup’s official presentation, a consensus has already been reached on a number of ideas. However, Congress may be stepping in as clinical quality measures may not be as easy to include in digital systems as originally thought. If Congress steps in, they could potentially redesign the way in which Medicare pays and delivers incentives to physicians.
Approvals of Stage 3 will take place in March by the HIT Policy Committee and rules will be finalized in early 2015. New proposals that have emerged from the Meaningful Use Workgroup include requiring physicians and hospitals to use clinical decision support interventions based on four of six national priority areas as well as new certification criteria for EHRs like necessitating offering patients a way to request access to their records online.
Two of the major goals of Stage 3 are to support new models of care and to address national health priorities. To obtain these goals, key gaps must be fixed in EHR functionality. The CNC’s Meaningful Use Workgroup also stated that the program needs to guide the development of “mature standards” that could be widely adopted by 2017. An optional “deeming” approach to confirmation could decrease some administrative work, and is being considered for those health systems that are already achieving top clinical outcomes through health IT.