por Loren Bonner
, DOTmed News Online Editor | May 23, 2014
Government officials made a decision this week to issue a rule that would extend the deadline for providers interested in meeting meaningful use requirements.
The reprieve, issued jointly by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, would allow providers to use 2011 certification criteria for the 2014 reporting period. In other words, providers who are scheduled to begin meaningful use stage 2 would have the option of using 2014 criteria to attest again to meaningful use stage 1 objectives for the 2014 reporting period, and those working on attesting to meaningful use stage 2 would have until 2016 to meet those objectives.
Under stage 2, to qualify for Medicare incentive payments, eligible professionals must meet 17 core objectives and half of the six so-called menu objectives. Eligible hospitals must meet 16 core objectives and half of the 6 menu objectives.
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In Stage 1, providers and hospitals had to meet 15 core objectives and half of the 10 menu objectives.
Providers also have to meet nine out of 64 clinical quality measures, and eligible hospitals 16 out of 29 CQMs.
To qualify for stage 2, providers must also order at least 30 percent of radiology, 30 percent of labs and 60 percent of medication through a computerized order entry.
DOTmed News reported in an earlier story
that only four out of 30 eligible hospitals met stage 2 meaningful use requirements for 2014.
CMS already extended the deadline one year — to 2014 instead of 2013 — for providers who demonstrated meaningful use in 2011 and 2012. This was intended to give them ample time to put in place new EHRs that vendors were developing to comply with meaningful use stage 2 rules.