CMS was able to release proposed rules for meaningful use right at the end of December (on Dec. 30), along with a companion interim final regulation with regards to electronic data standards and certification of electronic health records products. The new proposed rules suggested that healthcare providers be required to:
- Keep up-to-date problem lists
- Write electronic prescriptions
- Have electronic drug interaction checking
- Incorporate data from test results into their EHRs
- Keep patient vitals
- Implement five rules for clinical decision support (as opposed to one rule) to be eligible for federal Medicare or Medicaid bonus payments beginning in 2011.
The new proposed rules also relaxed certain guidelines, like requiring physician practices to enter all of their order electronically (the newly proposed rule recommended 80 percent of orders be entered electronically).
In early November, the Drummond Group, an interoperability testing lab based out of Austin, Texas, expressed interest in joining the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology as an entity that would have the authority to certify electronic health records for compliance with federal meaningful use standards.