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Meaningful use rules exempt doctors, not EMR systems



Physicians who want to qualify for stage 1 meaningful use incentives need to have electronic medical record systems that can accomplish all the tasks mentioned under the stage 1 rules -- even the tasks doctors plan to defer accomplishing until a later time. Under the final rules, physicians were given the flexibility to defer up to five of the 10 objectives on a menu set. But even if physicians have no plans to use certain functions of the EMR system, they must have a system that is certified to do them all. Erica Drazen, managing partner at the consulting firm CSC, said once the final rules came out and the health IT office said it made them more flexible, many people turned their focus to the meaningful use objectives and didn't carefully read the certification portion of the rules, which did not change.
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