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Health IT Policy Committee: Give Early Meaningful Users More Time for Stage 2 Requirements

June 8, 2011
by David Raths
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Menu items in Stage 1 become core requirements in Stage 2

At its June 8 meeting, the Health IT Policy Committee voted 12 to 5 to adopt the recommendation of its Meaningful Use Work Group that providers that attest to meaningful use in 2011 should be allowed an extra year, until 2014, to phase in the Stage 2 expectations.

“The committee has heard from both the vendor community and the provider community that the current schedule for compliance with Stage 2 meaningful use objectives in 2013 poses a nearly insurmountable timing challenge for those who attest to meaningful use in 2011,” wrote Paul Tang, M.D., vice chair of the Health IT Policy Committee, in the draft recommendation approved by the committee.


Paul Tang, M.D.

The same package the committee approved included a set of recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator. Among these are that many requirements that were menu items in Stage 1 become core requirements in Stage 2. There also are several new requirements, especially dealing with patient and family engagement and care coordination:

• Hospital labs send (directly or indirectly) structured electronic clinical lab results to outpatient providers for 40 percent or more of electronic orders received (note challenge to small hospitals; may require exclusions).

• 30 percent of eligible provider visits have at least one electronic eligible provider note and 30 percent of hospital patient days have at least one electronic note; non-searchable, scanned notes do not qualify.

• Hospital medication orders automatically tracked via electronic medication administration record (in use in at least one hospital ward/unit).

• Hospitals: 10 percent of patients/families view and have ability to download information about a hospital admission. Information is available for all patients within 36 hours of the encounter.

• Eligible providers: patients are offered secure messaging online and at least 25 patients have sent secure messages online.

• Eligible providers: Patient preferences for communication medium recorded for 20 percent of patients.

The committee also referred several Stage 2 objectives to the Health IT Standards Committee for recommendations on applicable standards. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has another year to consider adoption of Stage 1 and public comments before issuing a final rule for Stage 2.

 


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