HHS Proposes Meaningful Use Stage 3 Criteria

Health and Human ServicesOn March 20th, the HHS and CMS announced the release of the proposed Meaningful Use Stage 3 rules for the Medicare and Medicaid EHRs Incentive Programs. Concurrently, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria proposed rule. The stage 3 meaningful use proposed rule specifies new criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals will have to meet to qualify for Medicaid incentive payments. The rule also proposes criteria that providers must meet to avoid Medicare payment adjustments based on program performance starting in 2018. The 2015 edition EHR certification criteria "includes new and updated IT functionality and provisions that support the EHR incentive programs," states an HHS press release.

The criteria are focused on patient engagement and data sharing and hues closely to the goals laid out in the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap published by the The Office of the National Coordinator on Health Information Technology.

Here are a few highlights of the stage 3 requirements:

  • More than 25% of patients seen by an EP or discharged from a hospital or emergency department (ED) must "actively engage" with their electronic records.
  • For more than 35% of patients seen by an EP or discharged from a hospital or ED, a secure message must be sent using the EHR's secure messaging function or in response to a secure message sent by the patient.
  • Patient-generated data from a nonclinical setting must be incorporated into the EHR for more than 15% of patients seen by the EP or discharged from a hospital or ED.
  • EPs and hospitals must use their EHR to create a summary of care and electronically exchange it with other providers for more than 50 percent of transitions of care and referrals.
  • In more than 40% of these transitions of care, the provider has to incorporate in its EHR a summary of care from an EHR used by a different provider.
  • In more than 80% of transitions of care, the provider has to perform a "clinical information reconciliation" that includes not only medications and allergies, but also problem lists.

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