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MU Stage 2 Final Rule Elicits Few Cheers

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, August 29, 2012

The final rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services "looks a lot better than some people feared," says Jeffrey Smith, assistant director of advocacy for College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), which represents 1,400 healthcare CIOs at hospitals and clinics.

The rule, which delays the onset of MU Stage 2 until 2014, specifies the criteria that eligible professionals, hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAH) must meet to qualify for Medicare and/or Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments. It also specifies the Medicare payment adjustments that will be made for failing to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.

Although stakeholders are still parsing through the 672-page rule, it is already garnering support among groups associated with the IT side of the healthcare business. The reaction is more subdued, however, among provider groups.

While Premier Health Alliance sees opportunities with the release of the final rule; the American Hospital Association views it as "an obstacle" Among the sticking points: the reporting of clinical quality measures (CQMs).

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