The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that physicians and other eligible professionals (EPs) have one more year to demonstrate that they have met the electronic health care record incentive program’s Stage 2 criteria.
Meaningful Use is one of the federal government’s eHealth initiatives intended to encourage the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) by providing incentive to do so. The delay is intended to allow extra time for EPs to 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.
Since January 2011, CMS has paid about $17 billion in incentive payments to those EPs who have successfully adopted, implemented and upgraded EHRs and are meaningfully using health information technology that has been tested and certified to standards set by Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology.
Stage 2 will be extended through 2016, and Stage 3 won’t begin until calendar year 2017 for physicians and other EPs who have by then completed at least two years at Stage 2. More information about this change and the EHR Incentive Programs is on the CMS website.
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