August 27, 2013
The closer we get to stage 2 meaningful use, the more physician associations speak up about the timeline. Stage 2, after being delayed once already, is set to begin in 2014.
The only problem is, most of the industry isn’t ready. Many EHR vendors are still in the process of re-certifying their products, and EPs are trying to juggle upcoming deadlines for meaningful use, ICD-10, and accountable care organizations as well.
However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is showing no signs that any changes will be made to stage 2 meaningful use. And not all physicians agree that a delay is the right course of action.
There are valid points to both sides of the argument, though.
Arguments supporting a stage 2 delay
Arguments against a stage 2 delay
Some physician organizations, like MGMA and HIMSS, have come up with blended alternatives, such as starting stage 2 on time but extending the attestation period. Other groups have suggested that HHS soften the “all or nothing” approach to meeting measure percentages so more can qualify for incentive payments.
At this point, there’s no telling if any changes will be made to the meaningful use stage 2 timeline. The next few months, though, should be telling.
Regardless of what happens with the meaningful use program, one thing is certain: providers and vendors should continue preparing for stage 2 as if nothing has changed. Even if HHS does extend the stage 2 timeline, it is unlikely to be for long, and it is always best to be prepared.