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MU Compliance Announcement Sparks Concern, Confusion

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2013

An announcement from CMS on Meaningful Use implementation deadline changes obscures the fact that the agency fully expects all Stage 2 start dates to remain unchanged.

For a few hours last Friday, healthcare providers thought they were going to get some relief from next year's Meaningful Use Stage 2 implementation deadlines. But what observers are calling a poorly worded announcement from CMS hid the fact that the agency fully expects all Stage 2 start dates to remain unchanged.

Instead, the CMS announcement proposes to push back start dates for Meaningful Use Stage 3, by adding a third year of Stage 2 for those providers who attested for Stage 1 in 2011 or 2012.


See Also: Meaningful Use Deadlines Delayed for 1 Year


Organizations which attested to Meaningful Use Stage 1 during the first year, 2011, and the second year, 2012, are still expected to attest to Meaningful Use Stage 2 during 2014. Those attesting to Stage 1 this year are still expected to attest to Stage 2 in 2015.

What CMS' proposal would mean is that start dates for Meaningful Use Stage 3 attestation would commence not in 2016, but in 2017 at the earliest.

Confusion sown by the Friday announcement even had HIMSS erroneously congratulating CMS for a Stage 2 delay that in fact was not in the cards. On Saturday morning, HIMSS put out a corrective statement expressing the same concern that CHIME had expressed the night before.

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1 comments on "MU Compliance Announcement Sparks Concern, Confusion"


Frank Poggio (12/9/2013 at 10:05 AM)
From a vendor perspective 2015 test criteria is a wolf in sheep's clothing. In my experience having worked through many 2014 tests with clients - the criteria under 2014 became considerably more complex and extensive as each month passed, test criteria were revised almost on a monthly basis. For example the test for Safety Enhanced Design (170.114g3) started out requesting a simple description of your design/development process, to now submitting detailed test scenarios per NISTIR 7742 standards. The DVT test now requires WCAG 2.0 evaluations, but did not in the early gong. This growing complexity is one reason why far less vendors have passed 2014 than 2011. From a vendor perspective, the net result is if you wait for the new set of 2015 test criteria those tests will be even more difficult. My advice, don't wait too long. Remember in the healthcare world regulations only grow...never shrink!