All physicians participating in the federal Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program must upgrade their EHR in 2014 to the Stage 2 certified version. This is true regardless of what stage you are currently participating in for meaningful use. In other words, if you attest to Stage 1 in 2014, you still need to have the Stage 2 certified EHR.
Because of the industry-wide EHR upgrade in 2014, all physicians are allowed to have a 90-day reporting period for meaningful use. Typically, this is only allowed for the first year, but regardless of year participation, physicians must only report on 90 days in 2014. Therefore, the EHR must be upgrade to the Stage 2 certified version by Oct. 1, 2014.
Physicians participating in meaningful use for the first time in 2014 to prevent the Medicare EHR penalty will have to start their 90-day reporting period by July 1, 2014, so they can attest by Oct. 1, 2014, to prevent the penalty. See separate DfD entry for details.