CMS, ONC revise final rules for Meaningful Use Stage 2

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT once again have issued changes to the final rules implementing Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use incentive program.

The revisions, which are slated to be published in the Dec. 7 Federal Register as an Interim Final Rule with comment period, seem relatively minor in nature, correcting inaccuracies and updating certification criteria.

For instance, the IFR replaces the Data Element Catalog Standard and the Quality Reporting Document Architecture Category III Standards with updated versions of those standards. The revisions also add an alternative measure of the objective for hospitals to provide structured electronic lab results to ambulatory providers; correct the regulatory text for the measures associated with the objective for hospitals to provide patients with the ability to view, download and transmit information; and make the case number threshold exemption for reporting clinical quality measures applicable for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals beginning in FY2013.

The IFR also serves as a notice of CMS' intent to issue technical corrections of the electronic specifications for clinical quality measures that were released Oct. 25, in order to avoid "inaccurate results."

This is not the first time that CMS has issued changes to the Stage 2 final rules; changes also were made in October that included fixing grammatical errors and making technical corrections, such as renumbering tables. According to CMS, the IFR does not constitute rulemaking, for which notice, a comment period and a delay in effective date would apply.

The IFR goes into effect 30 days from its publication date. Comments on the IFR are due 60 days from the publication date.

To learn more:
- here's the notice (.pdf)