CMS releases Stage 2 meaningful use requirements

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced its second stage of requirements for healthcare providers looking to participate in electronic health records incentive programs.

According to the proposed rule, eligible providers must demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic medical records based on criteria proposed by CMS. While the rule is for eligible healthcare professionals, critical access hospitals, and eligible hospitals, nursing homes will be increasingly tied to these other healthcare entities in integrated care models.

To qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments, eligible providers must meet core objectives. Under Stage 2 standards, eligible providers should use electronic prescribing for more than 50% of prescriptions issued, record demographic data for more than 50% of patients, record vital signs in over 80% of patient encounters, and record smoking status for over 80% of patients, according to CMS.

Stage One began in 2011; Stage Two would be implemented in 2014.

The requirements will be posted to the Federal Register by March 7, and the public will be allowed to comment on the requirements for 60 days. Incentives will be paid in three stages. Click here for CMS' meaningful use fact sheet.