CMS Changes Meaningful Use Timeline

May 21, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new proposed rule today that changes the timeline for meaningful use electronic health record (EHR) technology. The new proposed rule would be consistent with previous CMS announcement regarding extension of Stage 2 and Stage 3 timelines. The proposed rule recognizes the difficulties that software vendors appear to be having making changes to their software platforms to accommodate upgrades to Stage 2 criteria.

The proposed rule gives providers some degree of flexibility in meeting meaningful use criteria. Providers are permitted to use criteria from 2013 upgrade enhancements, to attest to compliance with the 2014 criteria.

The proposed rule would also add an additional year to the Stage 2 phase and would delay the commencement of Stage 3 until 2017.

The proposed rule is the most recent step that CMS has taken in recognition of some of the difficulties that are being encountered by software vendors. Recent action by CMS also recognized a possible exemption that providers could use if they are delayed in implementing meaningful use as a result of vendor delays.

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