At an early HIMSS12 session on Wednesday, Feb. 22, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology, ONC gave a broad overview of the proposed requirements for Stage 2. He said that the Stage 2 regulations had been sent to the registrar and the written rules would be posted tomorrow.
Mostashari said that the Stage 2 meaningful use regulations were heavily based on recommendations made from the HIT Policy Committee. “We stayed the course,” he said. “There’s a lot that is familiar. You’ll see a lot of predictability. A lot of it is there because of what we listened to and learned from Stage 1.”
Mostashari said there would be a big push in Stage 2 around interoperability, standards based health information exchange, and patient engagement, which were many of areas that healthcare organizations opted not to address in Stage 1. There would also be a focus on patient safety through medication reconciliation and quality improvement, per recommendation of the Policy Committee. “We have done whatever we can to increase flexibility and reduce burdens,” Mostashari said.
There will be a 60-day comment period from the publication date of the rule. Commenters can use an online template to submit, as well as an option to attach supporting materials. Stage 2 will go into effect in 2014.
Mostashari said that the ONC worked with the government to align clinical quality measures for meaningful use, accountable care organizations, and PCMHs. He also said that medical groups would be able to report quality measures as a group instead ofas individuals.
2014 EHR Certification
Much was discussed about EHR certification. Mostashari said there was a lot of interoperability in the new certification program, dubbed the ONC HIT Certification Program.
Steven Posnack, policy analyst in the Office of Policy and Planning within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) said the new certification program offers organizations and providers three ways to meet CEHRT:
- complete EHR
- EHR modules that do just enough or a combination of EHR modules
- single EHR module that includes
“No longer is the definition of certified EHR technology built to the set 100 percent amount of certification criteria,” says Posnack. “It’s driven by the stage the eligible provider or hospital needs to meet.”
Posnack likened the certification to a bullseye that builds outward, with a core EHR in the center that could be certified, as well as outer levels of certification for Stage 2 core menu items and optional menu items.
“If there’s one thing we’ve all learned is to make truly meaningful use of meaningful use takes time,” said Mostashari.