AHRQ funds 12 projects on MU Stage 3

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, is supporting research on 12 projects evaluating the Meaningful Use program in order to better develop Stage 3 requirements.  

The projects will examine proposed objectives and propose strategies for "improving the objectives at the policy level, EHR innovations that would support meeting the proposed objectives, and suggestions for primary care practices to increase the value of meaningful use objectives," according to AHRQ. They are expected to produce results by June; they will be taken into consideration to help shape Stage 3's final Meaningful Use objectives.

The projects include evaluations of best practices for integrating clinical decision support into clinical workflow; the evaluation of Meaningful Use objectives in different states; different aspects of patient engagement; and using EHRs to identify and screen patients for delirium.

The Health IT Policy Committee earlier this month scaled back its final recommendations for proposed Stage 3 objectives. CMS is expected to issue a proposed rule outlining the Stage 3 objectives and proposed 2017 edition certification criteria later this year, and final rules in early 2015. In December CMS delayed the start of Stage 3 until 2017 to enable it to more fully evaluate Stage 2 and improve the program.

The Meaningful Use program has come under increased criticism in recent months by members of Congress, stakeholders and others regarding unreliable clinical quality measures, inadequate oversight, the cost of participating, and other issues.

To learn more:
- read about the projects