Meaningful Use Stage 2

Meaningful use stage 2 requirements have been released and will come into effect in early 2014. Meaningful use establishes the requirements needed for Medicare and Medicaid Providers in order to receive incentive checks. Failure to meet incentive use is not against the law but prevents Providers from receiving financial incentives. In the future failure to meet meaningful use will result in deductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments. “Stage 1 pushed clinical data collection and bare-bones clinical decision support, while meaningful use stage 2 focuses more on sharing patient data between providers, with public health agencies and with patients themselves” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national HIT coordinator. The first step in meeting meaningful use requirement is the use of a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) in the daily operations of the healthcare professional live. However, implementation of a certified EHR is not the only requirement established by meaningful use as additional tasks and procedures in the office must be modified in order to meet these requirements. Furthermore, the fact that Providers may be using a Meaningful Use stage 1 certified EHR doesn’t warranty that this EHR will meet the certification requirements of Meaningful Use Stage 2. Keep in mind that Meaningful Use Stage 2 redefines the meaning of Certified EHR technology which no software company was aware of until this release. In other words, in order to qualify for meaningful use in 2014 Eligible Providers (EP) must use EHRs certified in accordance with Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements. Hence, as you may have guessed already, stage 2 attestation requirements have been pushed to 2014. As most professionals will agree meaningful use stage 1 seems to have been designed for primary care which made it quite difficult for specialists to comply with the established requirements and therefore unable to receive the incentives. Additionally, with ICD-10 and the expected health care reform deadlines that will be due in 2013 it is a relief that the Government decided to push stage 2 to 2014. The point is that the next couple of years will continue to be a challenge in terms of new requirements and information technology changes so my recommendations remained: 1. Be informed; 2. Understand the requirements and how they will affect you; 3. Get professional assistance; 4. Develop a plan of action; 5. Implement a plan of action.