EMR Meaningful Use Deadline Proposal to Extend
The working group members of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee have sent across a recommendation in the form of a 12-draft, seeking an extra one year for introducing Stage 2 meaningful use deadline criteria changes. Please note that federal healthcare incentives are already being distributed as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, i.e. among those who have been able to establish ‘meaningful use’ of electronic patient health records. Here, the benchmarks for establishing meaningful use are referred to as Stage 1.
This extension in complying with EMR Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria has been sought for only those healthcare entities, i.e. professionals and organizations, which are already complying with the Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements. In this draft, the work group has supported the need to upgrade the criteria set as a part of Meaningful Use to ensure that the federal incentives are extended to the most deserving of entities only.
However, the work group has recommended that bringing forth such changes as per the original schedule could prove very discomforting for those who have taken the initiative to upgrade their patient information systems as per the federal recommendations. The draft’s content also indicates that healthcare organizations & professionals who failed to understand urgency of upgrading their healthcare settings to Stage 1 benchmarks, including those who plan do so in 2012, won’t get the proposed advantage and would need to implement Stage 2 Meaningful Use Criteria changes by 2014. The decision on this recommendation would be taken by the Health IT Policy Committee that is scheduled to meet in Washington where the work group’s proposal can be rejected, amended or approved.