Industry News

CMS Releases Meaningful Use Stage 2 Requirements.

Richard P. Kusserow | April 2012

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule on the meaningful use Stage 2 requirements set forth in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.  Under the programs, participants receive incentive payments for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology.  The meaningful use criteria are divided into three stages and each stage gradually increases providers’ use of certified EHR to improve health care quality.  Stage 1 began in 2011 and CMS intends to announce the Stage 3 requirements in 2014.

According to the proposed rule, under the meaningful use Stage 2 requirements, providers must implement new standards such as providing patients with online access to health information and exchanging EHR data with other providers.  Additionally, providers will be required to report on new clinical quality measures (CQMs).  Examples of CQMs in Stage Two include providing aspirin upon a patient’s arrival for acute myocardial infarction and taking blood cultures prior to providing initial antibiotics.  CMS is also proposing new objectives for specialists.  Specifically, specialists will be required to access imaging results through certified EHR technology and identify and report cancer cases to state cancer registries.

CMS is will accept comments on the proposed rule until May 7.

The proposed rule on the meaningful use Stage 2 requirements is available at:

Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Electronic Health Record Incentive Program – Stage 2, 77 Fed. Reg. 45, 13698-13829 (Mar. 7, 2012).

About the Author

Richard P. Kusserow established Strategic Management Services, LLC, after retiring from being the DHHS Inspector General, and has assisted over 3,000 health care organizations and entities in developing, implementing and assessing compliance programs.