The Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has submitted its comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the proposed rule of Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. Among the organization’s numerous comments is a request that the government incorporate a 90- to 180-day reporting period for Year 1 of Stage 2 in 2014.
HIMSS further recommended that the Department reconsider the proposal that providers who are in Stage 1 will be required to meet all of the criteria changes to Stage 1 by FY/CY 2014. The organization also showed support for “Base” EHR concept and for the extension of Meaningful Use Stage 1 for 2011 attesters.
In addition, HIMSS says it observed an increasing amount of resources being utilized to prepare Eligible Professionals (EPs), Eligible Hospitals (EHs), and Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) for attestation. According to HIMSS Analytics, the organization says there has been a 12 percent increase in hospital preparedness for meaningful use Stage 1 requirements. As part of the preparation for the Stage 2 Final Rule, HIMSS is encouraging the government to continue reviewing and reassessing the timeline to maximize the amount of time all EPs, EHs, CAHs, and vendors have to prepare for meaningful use Stage 2.
“We appreciate the incredible commitment the Department has placed on engaging in a public dialogue and agree that the Meaningful Use program encourages standards-based collection, analysis, and exchange of health data in a safe and secure environment that can help providers, hospitals, and consumers improve care delivery for all Americans,” Carla Smith, HIMSS executive vice president, said in a statement.
HIMSS also encouraged alignment between federal and state quality reporting requirements, emphasize that quality measures should be utilized only if the standard and specifications supporting the quality measure have been tested and verified, and encouraged the utilization of mobile technologies to support patient engagement.