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New CMS rule changes meaningful use timeline



September 04, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a new final rule on September 4, 2014, that would provide eligible professionals participating in the Medicare and Medi-Cal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program an additional year to upgrade their certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT). The rule also revises the meaningful use timeline.

Under the new rule, eligible professionals can use 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the 2014 EHR reporting period to demonstrate meaningful use. Eligible professionals who were scheduled to begin stage 2 in 2014 will not be required to begin stage 2 until 2015, if they could not fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT due to delays in availability of 2014 Edition CEHRT for the 2014 reporting period. The rule also pushes the beginning of stage 3 to 2017.

CMS, however, emphasizes that beginning in 2015, all providers will be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT to successfully demonstrate meaningful use.

Click here for more information on which CEHRT systems eligible providers should use in 2014 under the final rule. This document also contains a chart demonstrating the revised stages of meaningful use by first payment year.

For more information on the federal EHR incentive program and meaningful use, see CMA On-Call documents #4301 "Electronic Health Records: Federal Incentive Program," #4302 "Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records," and #4305 "EHR Meaningful Use: Stage 2."

These and other documents are available free to members in CMA's online health law library at Health Law Library.Nonmembers can purchase documents for $2/page.

Contact: CMA's member help line, (800) 786-4262 or memberservice@cmadocs.org.

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