Thursday, February 20, 2014

Meaningful Use Stage 3: What Will it Mean for Health IT?

Meaningful Use Stage 1 began in 2011 and consisted of 25 objectives, 20 of which providers must meet to qualify for incentive payment. In August of 2012, finalized standards for Stage 2 were released and will become effective sometime in 2014. Now on Friday, February 14th, the Health IT Policy Committee will be presented with draft recommendations for Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program by the ONC’s (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) Meaningful Use Workgroup.

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.



  1. Thx for this post, IT life is now our real life and there we have a lot of secrets, that's why we must keep all our secrets in safe place. - they have a lot of opportunity about security.

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