CMS proposes CEHRT flexibility, stage 2 extension

With the clock ticking on stage 2—and many vendors struggling to obtain 2014 certification—CMS and ONC propose letting providers use the 2011 Edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to attest to Stage 1 and 2 meaningful use of health IT in 2014.

Providers also would get a one-year extension of the stage 2 attestation period, through the end of 2016, with Stage 3 commencing in 2017 under the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) released yesterday.

Beginning in 2015, the carriage turns back into a pumpkin and all providers will be required to use 2014 Edition CEHRT for Stages 1 and 2.

If approved as written, the NPRM would add a further measure of flexibility for those reporting in 2014 only, in allowing providers to attest to the 2013 core and menu objectives and CQMs.

Those providers currently working on Stage 1 attestation have the option of using 2011 Edition CEHRT, a combination of 2011 and 2014 CEHRT (2013 definition); or s 2014 CEHRT (2014+ definition).

Providers working on Stage 2 attestation could use Stage 1 (2013 definition) using 2011 CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 CEHRT; Stage 1 (2014+ definition) using 2014 Edition CEHRT; or Stage 2 (2014+ definition) using 2014 Edition CEHRT.

CMS reports that 370,000 hospitals and eligible professionals have received payments to date.

“We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR Incentive Programs since they began,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner in a press release. “By extending Stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward.”