On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, CMS released a proposed rule that would make changes to the current Certified EHR Technologies (CEHRT) requirements and formally extend Stage II of Meaningful Use through 2016.
The proposed rule would let eligible providers (EPs) and hospitals use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
Beginning in 2015, all EPs and hospitals would still be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT.
According to the explanatory statement accompanying the proposed revisions, CMS is making these changes due to overwhelming industry input that the amount of time available in which to make the required coding changes after the publication of the Stage 2 final was much too short.
CMS also notes this proposed change is due to an unexpected backlog and delay of certifying many EHRs.
The proposed rule includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 of Meaningful Use through 2016 and begin Stage 3 of Meaningful Use in 2017.
Under the current timeline, an EP that first became a meaningful user in 2011 or 2012 would not be required to begin Stage 3 until January 1, 2016. An eligible hospital or CAH that first became a meaningful user in 2011 or 2012 would not be required to begin Stage 3 until October 1, 2015.