CMS Releases Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program Stage 3 proposed rule, which proposes the requirements eligible professionals will have to meet under Stage 3 Meaningful Use.

As you know, Stage 3 of Meaningful Use is expected to be the final stage. This rule proposes, that following an optional Stage 3 year in 2017, all providers would move to the Stage 3 level regardless of their prior Meaningful Use participation in 2018. The rule would also require that all eligible professionals will report Meaningful Use for a calendar year reporting period beginning in 2017.

The proposed rule lays out eight program objectives, with 16 associated measures, that eligible professionals must meet to successfully attest to Stage 3 Meaningful Use. These objectives include:

  • Protect electronic protected health information (ePHI) created or maintained by the CEHRT through the implementation of appropriate technical, administrative and physical safeguards
  • Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically
  • Implement clinical decision support (CDS) interventions focused on improving performance on high-priority health conditions
  • Use computerized provider order entry (CPOE) for medication, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging orders by any licensed healthcare professional, credentialed medical assistant, or medical staff member credentialed to and performing the equivalent duties of a credentialed medical assistant; who can enter orders into the record per state, local and professional guidelines
  • Provide access for patients to view online, download, and transmit their heath information, or retrieve their health information through an application program interface within 24 hours of its availability
  • Use communications functions of certified EHR technology to engage with patients or their authorized representatives about the patient's care
  • Provide a summary of care record when transitioning or referring their patient to another setting of care, retrieves a summary of care record upon the first patient encounter with a new patient and incorporates summary of care information from other providers into their EHR using the functions of certified EHR technology
  • The eligible professional is in active engagement with a public health agency or clinical data registry to submit electronic public health data in a meaningful way using certified EHR technology, except where prohibited, and in accordance with applicable law and practice

The rule would maintain the reporting of Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) in Stage 3, and will encourage the submission of CQM data through electronic submission.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) also released a proposed rule introducing the new certification criteria for 2015 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT). This rule expands the ONC Certification PRogram and makes it more accessible to more practice settings and types of care, including long-term care for example. This rule also supports CMS' Stage 3 rule through the adoption of a set of certification criteria that align with the proposals for Stage 3.

Updates and further details regarding these proposed rules will be in the Washington Watch.  Please contact Ashley McGlone at 703-591-2220 with any questions.