Meaningful Use deferrals may indicate struggles in Stage 2

Physicians may have an uphill road to meet Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, with most of the objective items deferred in Stage 1 now required in Stage 2.

Stage 1 allowed eligible professionals to defer one half (five out of 10) menu objectives. But some of the menu objectives with the highest deferral rates will be mandatory objectives in Stage 2, according to an article in American Medical News.

For instance, six out of the 10 menu objectives had deferral rates of at least 50 percent, according to amednews; four out of the 10 menu objectives had deferral rates of at least two-thirds. The summary of care at transition menu objective had an 84 percent deferral rate; the objective to send reminders to patients about preventive care had an 80 percent deferral rate.

Syndromic surveillance--the sending of information to public health registries--had a 68 percent deferral rate, while providing timely electronic access for patients clocked in with a 66 percent deferral rate.

Of the menu objectives, only syndromic surveillance will remain a menu objective. The others all become mandatory core objectives in Stage 2.

All six menu objectives with the highest deferral rates involved the ability to share data with third parties, a big sticking point with providers who continue to be plagued with interoperability problems with their EHRs and with health information exchanges (HIEs). HIEs have been trying to improve data sharing, with different methods and mixed results.

Providers also have expressed their dissatisfaction with the ability of HIEs to meet the providers' data sharing needs. 

To learn more:
- here's the amednews article

Related Articles:
Providers unhappy with HIE vendors' sharing capabilities
Trial and error marks much early HIE implementation
Physicians eager but unprepared to meet Meaningful Use requirements
EHR costs, woes continue to plague practices
EHRs getting mixed reviews in North Carolina