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HIMSS: Start Stage 2 on Schedule, Give Extension

August 16, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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The Healthcare Informatics Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) has weighed in on a potential Stage 2 meaningful use delay, recommending that the government start on schedule but offer an extension to eligible providers and hospitals.

HIMSS says the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) should allow eligible hospitals (EHs) and eligible providers (EPs) respectively to be able to attest through April 2015 and June 2015 respectively. This would give them 18 months to attest to Meaningful Use requirements for one quarter, HIMSS notes.

“We have recommended an extra six months to achieve Year 1 of Meaningful Use Stage 2, which is a brief amount of time when considering our ultimate and joint goal of successful implementation of health IT to support care coordination and healthcare transformation,” Carla Smith, executive vice president of HIMSS, said in a statement.

HIMSS is the latest association to weigh in on this subject. Most recently, the american Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) made apublic plea to the government to modify the meaningful use Stage 2 timeline, with the group calling the current arrangement “aggressive.” The College of Healthcare Management Information Excutives (CHIME), American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Hospital Association (AHA) are others that have offered their own thoughts.

Using data from HIMSS Analytics, its research and data analysis arm, HIMSS found that Up to 68 percent of eligible hospitals and 41 percent of tethered ambulatory facilities have purchased the necessary software to attest to the 2014 Certification requirements. However, there are concerns that many may still be waiting for the necessary upgrade to the certified version. 

Many of these concerns are being expressed in Healthcare Informatics’ HIT Voices series, which features industry leading experts talking about the policy issues facing healthcare IT leaders.

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