The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Stage 3 Meaning Use Rule on October 6th. The major provisions in the Stage 3 Meaningful Use Rule include 10 objectives for eligible professionals, which incorporate one public health reporting objective. These objectives are down from the 18 total objectives in prior stages. In addition, there are 9 objectives for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) including one public health reporting objective. The number of objectives is down from 20 total objectives in prior stages. However, the Clinical Quality Measures (CQM) reporting for both eligible professionals and eligible hospitals/CAHs stay as previously finalized.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) believes that the rules will ease the reporting burden for providers, support interoperability, and improve patient outcomes.” Moreover, providers will be able to choose measures of progress that are most meaningful to their practice and are encouraged to apply for hardship exceptions if they need to switch or have other technology issues with their Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor. According to Patrick Conway, MD, CMS Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Chief Medical Officer (CMO), hardship exemptions will be processed on a case-by-case basis by statue by law. The goal, he said is to “enable providers to be able to find HER systems that best meet their needs and improve outcomes for patients.”
CMS will take public comment on the Stage 3 Rule for 60 days beginning October 16th, when the rule will be published in the Federal Register. You can read the final rule by going to: