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Providers Meaningful Use Stage 2 Final Rule

Medical professional sitting at a desk in front of computer smiling

On August 23, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final rule for Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. The rule provides new criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet to successfully participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

CMS has developed a Stage 2 Overview Tipsheet, a resource that provides a summary of the Stage 2 final rule and highlights key changes to the EHR Incentive Programs.

CMS has also created Stage 1 vs. Stage 2 Comparison Tables to help providers navigate the next Stage of meaningful use. There is a table for both EPs and for eligible hospitals and CAHs, and each compares the Stage 1 and Stage 2 core and menu objectives. Providers will be able to see which measures are new, which ones are changing, and which ones are being removed. The tables can be found online in the Stage 2 section of the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.

In addition to the new Stage 2 objectives and measures, the new rule also includes changes to Stage 1, clarifications of the Medicare payment penalties, and changes to the Medicaid EHR Incentive program, including the determination of patient volume calculations. It is important for Medicaid providers that they understand these changes and how they affect their participation in the program. The Oregon Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will be providing updated FAQs on patient volume soon. Our initial analysis of the Final Rule indicates that it may be easier for more Oregon Eligible Professionals (EPs) to qualify for incentive payments based on the way patient volume may be calculated. We will keep you posted.