By Naveen Sarabu, Director, Product Management and Strategy, Liaison Healthcare Informatics
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for Stage 2 a couple of weeks ago. The proposed rule specifies the criteria that eligible professionals (EPs) and hospitals must be meet to qualify for Electronic Health Record incentive payments.
Stage 1 Meaningful Use (MU) criteria focused on electronically capturing clinical information, reporting on clinical quality measures and minimally exchanging key patient clinical information. The proposed Stage 2 criteria expands upon the Stage 1 criteria with emphasis on exchanging key patient clinical information in a structured format to support transitions in care across multiple settings. This is going to open the doors to having the right information at point of care. It should be mentioned that to interpret the exchanged clinical information correctly, all EHRs must capture data in the same “structured” format or use a mediation service to semantically harmonize the data. I am assuming EHRs will standardize data structure using the HITSP C80 Clinical Document and Message Terminology Component for exchanging clinical information and use Direct communication protocol. It is going to be interesting to see all the comments regarding Stage 2 and what the final rule will be. CMS is planning to publish a final rule by summer and the eligible entities that became a MU user in 2011 must start submitting Stage 2 data in 2014 (one year later that earlier).