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CMS Releases Stage 2 Meaningful Use NPRM

February 23, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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Increased flexibility and interoperability added, says Mostashari

After much anticipation, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the proposed rule for Stage 2 meaningful use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA-HITECH) Act on the website of the Office of the Federal Registrar on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 23.

As Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the national coordinator for health IT, promised in a hastily arranged press conference at HIMSS12 earlier that morning, the proposed rule for Stage 2 of meaningful use was being readied for publication in the Federal Register after an electronic formatting snafu had delayed its formal publication.

Mostashari noted some broad-brush changes to the Stage 2 proposed rule that included adding a range of outcomes quality measures more applicable to specialists, an increased focus on imaging informatics-related elements, and a two-year window for providers to achieve Stage 2 requirements.

At a HIMSS12 session on Wednesday, 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.