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INDUSTRY-EXCLUSIVE: CHIME's Branzell Says, of CMS Stage 2 Announcement, "Hang On a Moment"

December 6, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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CHIME CEO Russ Branzell urges caution on the interpretation of the Dec. 6 CMS announcement

Russell P. Branzell, CEO of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, spoke exclusively to HCI’s Mark Hagland immediately following the Dec. 6 announcement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement regarding the extension of Stage 2 of the meaningful use process under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

Russell P. Branzell

Branzell cautioned that the announcement may not be what it appeared at first glance. Speaking with HCI, he said, “We are pleased that ONC [the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology] and CMS in particular, have provided some flexibility for Stage 3 and back-end Stage 2 deployment of software. We’re still reviewing whether this provides the eligible hospitals and providers the flexibility they need in calendar year 2014 start-date requirements, to successfully implement systems.”

Further, Branzell added, “We still believe there’s going to be a pressure point in 2014 for ICD-10 and Stage 2. CHIME still wants to ensure that those eligible hospitals and providers that need flexible timing to meet the requirements of ICD-10 and Stage 2 can do it in a reasonable sequencing. We’re not yet positive that the common interpretation of this at this moment is correct.”

Healthcare Informatics will continue to update readers on this developing story.