Dear CMS/ONC: For Meaningful Use, Give Providers Some Breathing Room, Too

Marla Durben Hirsch | FierceEMR | December 10, 2013

Pardon my cynicism, but I'm not overly impressed with the proposal to extend the timeline for Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program and delay implementation of Stage 3 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Let's look at the agencies' stated two-fold goal for extending the timeframe: "to allow CMS and ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2; and second, to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3."

And let's take a look at the benefits of the proposed timeline, as outlined by the agencies:

  • More analysis of feedback from stakeholders on Stage 2 progress and outcomes;
  • More available data on Stage 2 adoption and measure calculations--especially on new patient engagement measures and health information exchange objectives;
  • [...]