CMS: Stage 2 And Stage 3 Of Meaningful Use Will Be Extended

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | December 9, 2013

CMS and the ONC have announced that the next two phases of the EHR Incentive Programs will be extended in order to provide more time for professionals to adapt to the increased requirements and give rule makers a chance to examine the industry’s progress.  In a blog post on HealthITBuzz, Acting National Coordinator Jacob Reider and Robert Tagalicod, Director of the Office of e-Health Standards and Services at CMS, announced the revised timeline, which extends Stage 2 through 2016 and starts Stage 3 in 2017 for providers who have completed at least two years of the prior level of EHR adoption.

Despite the proven ability of meaningful use to bring EHRs into hospitals and physician offices on a massive scale, providers and industry advocates alike have expressed trepidation at the short reporting periods and relentless progression of the EHR Incentive Programs, which have been pushing healthcare organizations to their financial and manpower limits.  While 85% of hospitals and more than 60% of eligible professionals have successfully received a Medicare or Medicaid payment as of October 2013, many providers are worried about the dearth of Stage 2 certified EHRs and the slew of new requirements inherent in the second step.