Meaningful Use Stage 2 Announcement: What Does the Proposed Delay Mean for You?

Sweeping changes to the meaningful use (MU) EHR Incentive Program have been proposed. On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) proposed policy changes that will delay the mandatory use of 2014 Edition Certified EHR technology (CEHRT) to meet MU requirements. Further, the proposed changes also allow those Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs) originally required to use Stage 2 criteria in 2014 to use Stage 1 criteria instead. This means that Stage 2 measures will not be mandatory until 2015. Additionally, the proposal would extend Stage 2 one year through 2016.  The intent behind this recommendation is to give participating organizations extra time to properly implement 2014-certified software releases that may have been delayed, as well as build in more time for all parties to prepare for Stage 3. Continue reading

Promoting Engagement Through Patient Portal Adoption

In today’s consumer-driven and regulation-heavy environment, there are financial, regulatory, and competitive imperatives for health organizations to promote patient engagement through user-friendly patient portal applications.  In fact, the utilization of patient portals is a key exercise for satisfying meaningful use (MU) criteria in 2014. Continue reading