New CMS rule allows flexibility in certified EHR technology

September 2, 2014 in Medical Technology

Friday was my one day of summer vacation, enabled by the large number of people taking a long Labor Day weekend.

Some things are worth interrupting your vacation.

Friday afternoon, CMS published the long awaited final rule on Meaningful Use flexibility.

Here’s my interpretation:

Many CIOs tell me that they will be ready for transition of care and patient view/download/transmit for the full year October 1, 2014-September 30, 2015.   However, the ecosystem (trading partners, patient awareness, policy) is not ready for the period July 1, 2014-September 30, 2014. Thus, the ONC final rule is a welcome relief.

I do have one concern: the rule notes that Stage 1 criteria can be used by those on Stage 2 timelines for

“Only providers who could not fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability.”

Although certified products may have been introduced into the marketplace, the time to implement, train, and ensure safe use exceeded the Stage 2 time limits.

I hope ONC/CMS/HHS interpretation of delays includes the time needed for successful adoption.

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