Final Stage 2 Meaningful Use rule could be out by next summer

The rule specifying Stage 2 of Meaningful Use likely will follow the recommendations endorsed by the Health IT Policy Committee earlier this month, said Farzad Mostashari, MD, the national health IT coordinator, at the National Health IT and Delivery System Transformation Summit in Washington this week.

Mostashari said the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services anticipate releasing their proposed rules for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHRs) and standards and certification criteria either by the end of this year or early in 2012. The final rule could come by next summer--permitting it to start in 2013, reports Government Health IT.

Before any proposed rule for Stage 2 Meaningful Use is released, however, ONC will ask for feedback about the use of various metadata standards, Mostashari said. The Health IT Standards Committee, last week, called for ONC to explore the use of simplified and existing types of metadata standards, including those related to patient identity and privacy flags.

Currently, between 5,000 and 10,000 providers a month are registering for Meaningful Use, with 6,000 providers signing up each month for assistance from the regional education center, according to Mostashari. The RECs now have 79,000 providers registered, most of which are sole practitioners or small practices.

About 86 percent of hospitals intend to attain meaningful use, Mostashari said, "and they are not doing it just because of the money. They are doing it because meaningful use is aligned with what they mean to do."

For more information:
- see the Government Health IT article
- view Healthcare IT News article