For similarly positioned physicians and other eligible professionals, whose EHR incentive program runs on the calendar year, their challenge started Jan. 1, 2014. Each must meet 90 consecutive days of meaningful use at the Stage 2 level within their respective years.
See a slideshow of the people to watch in 2014
But an even bigger test for hospitals and physicians will come Oct. 1 with the federally mandated nationwide conversion to the ICD-10 diagnostic and procedural codes. The long-delayed ICD-10 codes will replace ICD-9 codes in use since 1979.
In December, the government proposed adding a third year to the Stage 2 window, pushing back the proposed start of Stage 3 until 2017. But the delay has no effect on providers required to step up to Stage 2 in 2014. Meanwhile, the feds have signaled no willingness to go along with demands to once again delay the ICD-10 conversion.