Meaningful Use Stage 3

Meaningful Use Stage 3 Final Rule Expected Soon

The Meaningful Use Stage 3 proposed rule is expected to be published in February, after the final step of review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is currently underway.

In 2014 many EHR vendors missed the mark in terms of achieving 2014 Meaningful Use certification, so special attention is being paid to vendor readiness for 2015. The proposed rule indicates that CMS will coordinate with the (ONC) to ensure that EHR certification criteria and will be in place when Stage 3 goes into effect, which will be no earlier than 2017.

The proposed rule must be made available for public comment before any of the proposed rule’s requirements for Meaningful Use Stage 3 are enacted, which has the potential to influence the requirements of the final rule. As a result of the resistance CMS has faced with Meaningful Use, it is likely to receive requests for greater flexibility and timing from healthcare organizations and industry groups, according to an article in EHR Intelligence.

Some details have been released about the requirements for Stage 3 in the rule submitted to the OMB by the Department of Health & Human Services as part of the Unified Agenda.  The information that has been released said:

 “Stage 3 will also propose changes to the reporting period, timelines, and structure of the program, including providing a single definition of meaningful use. These changes will provide a flexible, yet, clearer framework to ensure future sustainability of the EHR program and reduce confusion stemming from multiple stage requirements.”

The Health IT Policy Committee voted in March to approve 19 objectives recommended by the Meaningful Use Workgroup. Those recommendations fall into four categories of care improvements:

Improving Quality of Care and Safety
1. Clinical decision support
2. Order tracking
3. Demographics/patient information
4. Care planning — advance directive
5. Electronic notes
6. Hospital labs
7. Unique device identifiers

Engaging Patients and Families in their Care
8. View, download, transmit
9. Patient generated health data
10. Secure messaging
11. Visit Summary/clinical summary
12. Patient education

Improving Care Coordination
13. Summary of care at transitions
14. Notifications
15. Medication reconciliation

Improving Population and Public Health
16. Immunization history
17. Registries
18. Electronic lab reporting
19. Syndromic surveillance

The proposed Meaningful Use Stage 3 regulations are separate from the proposed changes to 2015 MU, which are expected to shorten the reporting period to 90 days.

Interoperability addressed

Good news for providers who have been frustrated by a system that does not facilitate the data sharing required to improve the health of their patients: The ONC has released a draft plan to establish a system for interoperable health information exchange on a national scale.

ONC crafted the “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap Version 1.0″ to promote technology-based care delivery, the Department of Health and Human Services said in its January 30, 2015 announcement.

Meaningful Use Stage 3 is expected to focus on Interoperability in order to further the ONC’s plan.