Stage 3 Meaningful Use Rules Include More Flexibility, Drive Interoperability

CMS released its proposed rules for Stage 3 meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs. The proposed rules will include greater flexibility and drive interoperability, according to HHS.

CMS released its proposed rules for Stage 3 meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHRs) Incentive Programs. The proposed rules will include greater flexibility and drive interoperability, according to HHS.

“This Stage 3 proposed rule does three things: it helps simplify the meaningful use program, advances the use of health IT toward our vision for improving health delivery, and further aligns the program with other quality and value programs,” Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, CMS acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer, said in a statement. “And, in an effort to make reporting easier for health care providers, we will be proposing a new meaningful use reporting deadline soon.”

Dr Conway had hinted that the proposed rules would include greater flexibility when he wrote in a blog post in January that CMS was considering shortening the EHR reporting period to 90 days.

Stage 3 is expected to be the final stage of meaningful use so that in 2018 all providers would report on meaningful use at the Stage 3 level. One of the objectives includes having providers and hospitals provide a summary of care record when transitioning or referring patients to another care setting. In addition, providers and hospitals will need to retrieve a summary of care record during the first encounter with a new patient and incorporate the information from other providers into their own EHR.

“The flow of information is fundamental to achieving a health system that delivers better care, smarter spending, and healthier people,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “The steps we are taking today will help to create more transparency on cost and quality information, bring electronic health information to inform care and decision making, and support population health.”