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Mostashari Backs Delay of Stage 2

July 7, 2011
by David Raths
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National coordinator for health IT joins HIMSS, CHIME, AHA to support delay

Farzad Mostashari, M.D., the national coordinator for health IT, has made clear his support for the idea that providers that attest to meaningful use in 2011 should be allowed an extra year, until 2014, to phase in meeting the Stage 2 criteria.

Farzad Mostashari, M.D.

At the July 6 meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, Mostashari told committee members that not accepting their recommendation to delay the start of stage 2 for early attesters could negatively impact participation rates in 2011.

In the stage 2 recommendation approved by the committee on June 8, Paul Tang, M.D., vice chair, wrote that 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.”

In a June 16 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, several healthcare organizations, including HIMSS (the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), CHIME (the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives), and the American Hospital Association (Washington, D.C.), wrote to express their support for the delay. “To allow adequate time for safe development, implementation, and adoption of software, the timeline for the next stage of meaningful use needs to be at least 18 months between final rules on meaningful use, certification, and standards, and the start of the next stage of meaningful use as recommended by the Health IT Policy Committee,” the associations’ letter said. “Given the context of the health IT changes in ARRA, ACA, and ICD-10, sufficient time for meaningful use Stage 2 is especially critical for EPs and EHs.”

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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