Meaningful Use Stage 3 may require social, behavioral data capture

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has provided another glimpse into what may be required in Stage 3 of Meaningful Use, issuing a solicitation for a contractor to make recommendations regarding which behavioral and social data should be added to the program.

The purpose of the solicitation's Statement of Work is to identify core data standards for behavioral and social determinants of health to be included in electronic health records. The contractor will provide CMS with recommended domains and data standards to be included in the certification criteria for Stage 3. CMS also wants recommendations regarding which domains are appropriate for core inclusion, obstacles to adding these data fields to EHRs and how they may be overcome, and how to link EHRs to public health departments and agencies.

"Parallel advances in analytic tools applied to such records are fueling new approaches to discovering determinants of population health," the Statement of Work says. "However, despite the fact that social and behavioral factors are important determinants of health, they are insufficiently captured in most EHRs. Their absence limits the capacity of health systems to address social and behavioral contributors to the onset and progression of disease and compromises the value of EHR data for research."

The information is due to CMS within one year from the data that a purchase order is rewarded.

It is expected that Stage 3 of the program will significantly raise the Meaningful Use bar, with new standards and more stringent requirements. The ONC Health IT Policy Committee's Meaningful Use workgroup recently recommended that the Stage 3 objectives also need to link functionality to outcomes and Meaningful Use to HHS' initiatives and new payment models.

To learn more:
- here's the solicitation