On June 8, 2011, the Health Information Technology Policy Committee (“HITPC”) advised the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to push its deadline for Stage 2 meaningful use requirements to 2014. The current deadline is 2013 for providers who achieve Stage 1 meaningful use requirements in the 2011 payment year. Upon reviewing the Meaningful Use Workgroup’s recommendations, HITPC acknowledged that requiring providers who achieve Stage 1 requirements in 2011 to meet Stage 2 requirements in 2013 can be seen as penalizing early adopters. Therefore, as a way to prevent providers from delaying Stage 1 attestation, HITPC urged HHS to allow those who meet Stage 1 in 2011 an additional year to meet the requirements of Stage 2.
The American Hospital Association (“AHA”), one of the organizations that provided comments to the Meaningful Use Workgroup, proposed that Stage 2 be pushed back until three-fourths of eligible providers are compliant with Stage 1. In addition, AHA recognized that less than 2% of responding providers confirmed that they were able to meet the minimum meaningful use requirements when the initial incentive payments became available. The organization also noted that initiating Stage 2 requirements too quickly may cause providers to become overwhelmed and decreases their ability to properly comply.
If you need help understanding the meaningful use requirements or assistance with negotiating EHR contracts, please contact a Wachler and Associates attorney at 248-544-0888.