The final requirements that hospitals and other providers must meet to receive funding under the second phase of the federal electronic health record incentive program were issued Thursday.
The Stage 2 meaningful-use requirements that providers must satisfy to receive payments under the program that provides incentive payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers that adopt qualifying EHRs will go into effect in early 2014, according to a final rule (PDF) issued by the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The program had previously planned for providers to satisfy Stage 2 requirements in 2013.
The rule outlined the certification criteria that electronic health-record makers must satisfy for their products to meet the program's standards. The new rules modified the certification program to “cut red tape and make the certification process more efficient,” according to an agency news release.
“The changes we're announcing today will lead to more coordination of patient care, reduced medical errors, elimination of duplicate screenings and tests and greater patient engagement in their own care,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a news release.