The CMS is giving providers another year to show they've met the Stage 2 criteria of the federal government's incentive program to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records. That means the start of the next phase will be pushed back a year.
CMS delays Stage 2 meaningful-use deadline by one year
Stage 2 will be extended through 2016, and Stage 3 won't begin until at least fiscal 2017 for hospitals and calendar 2017 for physicians and other eligible professionals who have by then completed at least two years at Stage 2, HHS said Friday.
Dr. Jacob Reider, HHS' acting national coordinator for health information technology, said the delay doesn't mean the federal government is backing down on the ambitious scope of the program. “We're keeping the pedal to the metal, and yet we are recognizing it's going to take additional time to get ready for Stage 3, and we wouldn't have the time to do that if we didn't extend Stage 2,” Reider said.
He said the delay is intended to allow the CMS and ONC to focus on helping providers meet Stage 2's demands for patient engagement, interoperability and information exchange, as well as use data collected during that phase to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.
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