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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have gotten the message—few are ready to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2, beginning in 2014. Yesterday, the CMS proposed a ruling to extend the deadline to begin the first year of MU Stage 2 attestation to 2015, requiring the use of 2014 Editon CEHRT. However, eligible professionals (EPs) already in motion of attesting for MU Stage 2 Year 1 in 2014 can continue as planned.
Therefore, if EPs need more flexibility to begin attesting for MU Stage 2, they got it. And if EPs already have their plans in order for MU Stage 2, they’re fine too. The best concession is that the CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT would let providers use 2011-cerfitifed EHRs, or a combination of 2011- and 2014-certified EHRs, for the 2014 reporting period in Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. While a concession, many EHR vendors chose to forego the 2011 edition entirely to concentrate on the more strenuous requirements of the 2014 edition—leaving physicians only the option to pursue Stage 2 this year or next with the 2014 edition.
The shifting timeline also proposes moving out the final year for MU Stage 2 attestation to 2016 and pushing MU Stage 3 first year attestation to 2017. This flexible delay option is good news for those not ready for MU Stage 2—but it will not change the direction of most EHR vendors who are well on their way to certification.