In a surprising, but, many would say welcome move, the the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced that HHS will delay the effective date of Stage 2 Meaningful Use reporting requirements to 2014.
Under the incentive payments system put in place in 2009, healthcare providers and organizations who receive incentive payments must report and attest to meeting certain criteria for the “meaningful use” of their EHR technology. These criteria are divided, as I had mentioned in earlier blogs, into three stages. The Stage 1 criteria focuses primarily on capturing and communicating health data, while Stages 2 and 3 require the use of the captured data to inform more advanced clinical decisions.
Previously, these same individuals and organizations had to attested to meeting Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria in 2011 and had to meet the Stage 2 criteria by 2013 in order to continue to receive their incentive payments. Now, they will get some much needed time as the date has now been pushed to 2014 to give them more time to achieve their goals.