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 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 certified for that criteria. This is especially important for specialists, such as radiologists. This is different from Stage 1, where an eligible professional (EP) 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