The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed new rules for Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive programsthat detail proposed expectations for physicians. This is the second of three stages of meaningful use that physicians are required to meet to earn EHR incentives through the Medicare or Medicaid programs.
The three stages are:
- Stage 1 (which began in 2011 and remains the starting point for all physicians): "meaningful use" consists of transferring data to EHRs and being able to share information, including electronic copies and visit summaries for patients.
- Stage 2 (to be implemented in 2014 under the proposed rule): "meaningful use" includes standards such as online access for patients to their health information and electronic health information exchange between physicians and other providers.
- Stage 3 (expected to be implemented in 2016): "meaningful use" includes demonstrating that the quality of health care has been improved.
The proposed rules focus on using EHRs to improve health and health care while reducing the burden on physicians and hospitals where possible. TMA, through the Ad Hoc Committee on Health Information Technology (HIT), will review and comment on the proposed rules. Interested physicians may send comments to Shannon Moore, director of TMA's HIT Department.
Physicians needing help with their HIT needs may also turn to the Texas regional extension centers (RECs), which provide on-site consulting at subsidized and below-market rates. Visit the TMA website for more information. For questions related to meaningful use, RECs, and health information technology, call TMA at (880) 880-5720 or email HIT.
Action, March 1, 2012