Healthcare News & Insights

What’s in store for Stage 3 Meaningful Use?

Though many healthcare organizations are still focused on meeting Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements, the feds are getting ready to issue the rules for Stage 3. What might the checklist include? 

Recommendations for Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements were recently issued by the Meaningful Use Work Group of the federal Health IT Policy Committee at the group’s August 1 meeting.

The group said it’s aiming to have the third set of Meaningful Use rules focus more on patient engagement, population health and coordination of care. One recommended measure would require doctors to use more clinical decision support tools focused on improving performance for certain targeted health conditions.

Other measures include requiring doctors to record more demographic data, accept readings from home medical devices, and share care summaries and care plans when patients are referred or moved. The latter would require the use of a health information exchange, which was proposed as part of the Stage 2 Meaningful Use Requirements.

The recommendations would also require EHRs to integrate with external medication lists to help avoid problematic interactions and allow some patients to submit their medical history electronically.

Overall the Meaningful Use Work Group has said that the goal of Stage 3 Meaningful Use will be requiring organizations to use EHRs that track individual care goals and allow greater collaboration between a patient’s different doctors.

Many of the recommended Stage 3 requirements build off of the proposed rules for Stage 2 Meaningful Use, either by increasing numeric targets or by turning objectives that were previously “menu” items into “core” measures.

Healthcare organizations aren’t likely to have to worry about Stage 3 Meaningful Use for a while — Stage 3 will likely begin two years after a provider meets the Stage 2 requirements. Based on the current timeline, that would be no earlier than 2016.

The Work Group plans to issue a Request for Comment in November, with the recommendations being published next May. We’ll keep you posted.

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