Meaningful Use Continues to be a Moving Target

IT and MUCMS finally release changes to meaningful use, Stage 3 and the requirements of the Meaningful Use program for 2015-2017. These changes are expected to address the concerns of healthcare professionals and organizations alike regarding the meaningful use program and the goals of the same.  The current decision is designed to facilitate implementation and operations under Meaningful Use. While there are many changes to consider, and this article is not all inclusive, we have decided to provide some of the changes to give our readers an idea of what to expect. For the EHR Incentive Programs in 2015 through 2017, major provisions include:

  • 10 objectives for eligible professionals including one public health reporting objective, down from 18 total objectives in prior stages.
  • 9 objectives for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) including one public health reporting objective, down from 20 total objectives in prior stages.
  • Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) reporting for both eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals/CAHs remains as previously finalized.

For Stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs in 2017 and subsequent years, major provisions include:

  • 8 objectives for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs:  In Stage 3, more than 60 percent of the proposed measures require interoperability, up from 33 percent in Stage 2.
  • Public health reporting with flexible options for measure selection.
  • CQM reporting aligned with the CMS quality reporting programs.
  • Finalize the use of application program interfaces (APIs) that enable the development of new functionalities to build bridges across systems and provide increased data access. This will help patients have unprecedented access to their own health records, empowering individuals to make key health decisions.

The Stage 3 requirements are optional in 2017; however, all providers will be required to comply with Stage 3 requirements beginning in 2018. Another thing to keep in mind is that any EHR used must have been certified using EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition.