Government Health IT, May 20, 2011

Keeping its "eye on the prize, but feet on the ground," the advisory panel to the HIT Policy Steering Committee recently took a step closer to pushing back stage 2 of meaningful use. Such a delay, the committee said, would grant providers more time to incorporate other deadline-driven health IT projects -- most notable, the massive ICD-10 conversion -- into their agendas. "Timing has been a concern. The plan is aggressive, and rightfully so. It's not the legislation we're trying to keep up with, it's the need," said Paul Tang, MD, chairman of the meaningful use work group and CMIO at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, during the meeting. Tang and the committee have been detailing three options of late, the third of which is pushing stage 2 back until 2014. "Option three gives the opportunity to sync up your upgrades for ICD-10 and meaningful use stage 2," Tang said. The intent is plausible, according to Mandy Willis, an ICD-10 expert in Seattle.

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