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The Ins and Outs of Meaningful Use at HIMSS13

After enjoying HIMSS13 last week, I will write one blog per day this week reviewing the educational sessions which I thought were most insightful.

The education sessions at HIMSS13 got off to a strong start Monday morning with Session 4, which was a review of Meaningful Use by Steven Posnack from the ONC [1] and Robert Anthony from CMS. The title of the session was "The Ins and Outs of Meaningful Use: Understanding Stage 1 Changes & Stage 2 Requirements".

Rather than plowing through all the differences among the stages, Mr. Posnack did a great job of focusing in on some of the key differences with regards to certification. The top five that stuck out the most are summarized here:

  1. New flexibility for criteria requirements – For Meaningful Use Stage 2, criteria that will not be attested for need not have the EHR [2] certified for that criteria. This is especially important for specialists, such as radiologists. This is different from Stage 1, where an eligible professional (EP [3]) must have an EHR certified for all criteria regardless of whether the EP would be attesting to that given criteria.
  2. The 2014 Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) is stage agnostic – An EHR technology certified under the 2014 Edition can be used for Stage 1 or Stage 2 attestation. Thus a provider need not wait to upgrade to a 2014 CEHRT version of their application, because a 2014 CEHRT can be used to complete Stage 1 if the provider is not at Stage 2 yet.
  3. Pricing transparency – For Meaningful Use Stage 2, vendors must disclose any additional pricing which is required to use their application as a CEHRT. This is meant to protect providers from purchasing a CEHRT only to learn that optional features or services are required to complete attestation.
  4. Test results transparency – The certification bodies must now submit a hyperlink of the test results used to issue a certification.
  5. Two years of Stage 1 required – No matter where a provider is at in the Meaningful Use process, they must complete two years of Stage 1 before they move to Stage 2. So even if a provider starts Meaningful Use in 2017, they still are required to do two years of Stage 1.

These are just a few of the concepts which were covered during the session. For complete information the slides for the session can be found here.


Additional HIMSS 13 Review Posts:
Session on HL7 FHIR [4]