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MU Compliance Announcement Sparks Concern, Confusion

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, December 9, 2013

While CMS did not issue any clarification, officials from ONC as recently as last month stated there would be no changes in Stage 2 compliance deadlines, although those officials did say the decision was ultimately CMS's to make.

But last Friday's announcement threw the industry into confusion that lingered through the weekend.

"They could have easily said, this has no effect on the start date and implementation requirements for Stage 2 in 2014, which is what our concern is, but they didn't say that," says Russ Branzell, CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

Instead, Branzell says, CMS is proposing the same sort of flexibility for Stage 3 that it provided for Stage 1, while denying any further flexibility on a Stage 2 start date.

"We still believe there is some opportunity for flexibility with them for the beginning of Stage 2," Branzell says. "It's just going to require some hard work."

Toward that end, Branzell will be in Washington D.C. Monday and Tuesday meeting with CMS, legislative, and administration officials to once again press providers' plea for relief from being required to comply with Meaningful Use Stage 2 in 2014.

With ICD-10-compliant technology and processes required to be paid for care reimbursement after October 1, 2014, providers may simply be unable to comply with Stage 2 requirements in 2014, "which is even a greater concern on our part," Branzell says.

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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!