HIMSS is Recommending an Extension of the Stage 2 Timeline. Here’s Why.

As we gear up for the start of Meaningful Use Stage 2 in a few weeks, HIMSS has been working with our members and listening to the public dialogue on the challenges and opportunities that Meaningful Use Stage 2 adds to the infrastructure development for health data exchange and consumer engagement in their care. Health IT can truly be the foundation of healthcare transformation!

Yesterday, in a Call to Action and Position on the Meaningful Use Stage 2 timeline, HIMSS supported maintaining the current Stage 2 launch schedule.  It is important for those who are ready to keep moving forward to support care coordination, quality improvements, and cost containment.

However, we are also aware that eligible professionals, eligible hospital, and vendors are increasingly citing timeline and certification challenges in the lead up to being fully prepared for MUS2.  In comparing the August 15th list of 161 certified products on the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) with our HIMSS Analytics database, we found that as many as 68 percent of eligible hospitals and 41 percent of tethered ambulatory facilities[1] have purchased the necessary software to attest to the 2014 Certification requirements.  There are concerns that many may still be waiting for the necessary upgrade to the certified version.

With that data in hand, and with an interest in keeping our focus on the overall success of the Meaningful Use program, HIMSS recommends that Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period extend through April 2015 and June 2015 for EHs and EPs, respectively. This will provide 18 months for EHs and EPs to attest to one quarter of MUS2 requirements.

The success of the program is really on all of us.  HIMSS pledges to use our resources to help equip EPs, EHs, and vendors to identify commonly agreed upon milestones on the road to implementing, testing, and attesting to MUS2.  We are focusing National Health IT Week on the Value of Health IT.  The Call to Action is an opportunity to start that dialogue, now.

So what do you think?   Is your practice or facility expecting challenges to meet the current Stage 2 timeline?  Would extending the deadline help?  I’d love to read your story in the comments.

[1] Ambulatory facilities affiliated with a hospital and/or health system

About Tom Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS

Tom Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS, is HIMSS Vice President of Government Relations. Follow me on Twitter @TLearyHIMSS
This entry was posted in Blogging, Health IT, Health IT News and Developments, Health IT Value Suite, HIMSS News and Developments, Interoperability & Standards, Public Policy, Value of Health IT and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to HIMSS is Recommending an Extension of the Stage 2 Timeline. Here’s Why.

  1. Rick Follett says:

    I encourage all healthcare CIOs to speak up in favor of this approach regardless of your organizations readiness. If we, as a nation, are to succeed in the journey to ubiquitous use of EHR technology we must advocate for practical timelines. Our organization will meet the deadline but it will tax our doctors and leaders to accomplish this during the transition to ICD-10 coding. More time would allow us and our vendor to accomplish both goals with a lower risk of staff burn-out.

  2. Angie says:

    There are a number of organizations that would use the extension wisely and ensure deployment of Stage 2 benefits clinical workflows and patient care. Unfortunately, there are many who seem hell bent on making this a strict IS only initiative that is disruptive to patient care with an old school “best of breed” approach that meets the requirements (arguably) but misses the intent of Meaningful Use. Weed out those that just want the incentive dollars and have no focus on improving care or patient outcomes and then delays make sense. Otherwise, you are just delaying the inevitable.

    • Tom Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS says:

      Thanks Angie. I appreciate your comments on the Call to Action. It’s incumbent on all of us to make sure we stay focused on the benefits health IT brings to healthcare transformation. The HIMSS Value of Health IT Suite is focusing on the 5 STEPS to make sure adoption, implementation, and use are necessary and quite frankly “valuable” enough for providers to engage in care coordination that result in better quality care, patient and provider satisfaction, and cost containment. The link to the Value of Health IT Suite is at http://www.himss.org/ValueSuite?navItemNumber=21160

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