CMS: We'll publish our 'Meaningful Use' final rule by July 14

Many dates have been thrown around regarding when CMS plans to publish its final rule for meaningful use. This highly anticipated regulation, of course, will spell out how providers and organizations can become eligible for HITECH's electronic health record incentive payments.

Some news outlets have reported that July 13 is the magic date. That sounds about right, give or take a few days. FierceEMR spoke with a CMS official directly involved in writing and publishing the final regulation, and she assures us that although there's no "official" publication date (CMS missed its own self-imposed June 30 deadline), "I would be very surprised if it's published any later than July 14."

"We hoped to have it out by the end of June, but it's looking more like mid-July," the official told us this week. "There are so many moving parts and so many people are involved. This is a long regulation." No doubt! The proposed rule was thicker than many novels. We expect nothing less from the final reg.

CMS also plans to unveil its plan for aligning its Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) with the EHR incentive program in mid-July. "We propose to include many ARRA core clinical quality measures in the PQRI program, to demonstrate meaningful use of EHR and quality of care furnished to individuals," CMS states in an advanced copy of the proposed reg, CMIO magazine reports. "We propose the selection of these measures to meet the requirements of planning the integration of PQRI and EHR reporting."

For more information:
- read this Government Health IT article
- read the CMIO article
- bookmark the Federal Register's Table of Contents, where the final rule will appear