Government Health IT, May 5, 2011

An advisory panel that is shaping measures for the next stage of meaningful use has suggested delaying stage 2 by one year until 2014 as an option to allow vendors and healthcare providers more time to update and roll out more advanced technology. It is one of the approaches for dealing with the compressed timeline for establishing stage 2 of meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs), but it would come at the expense of early adopters. The delay option would primarily affect healthcare providers that have met meaningful use in 2011, according to members of the meaningful use work group, a panel of the Health IT Policy Committee. "This is a compromise," said Paul Tang, MD, the work group chair. It doesn't delay the overall program. "It only affects one group, the group that comes in 2011. Because of the way the rule is written, those people would be subject to a loss of one year's incentive," he said at a May 3 panel meeting. Tang is also CMIO at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

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