In July, we wrote about the speculation that Stage 2 of the Medicare incentive program was to be delayed until 2014. On November 30th, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed that this would indeed be the case.
The original regulation would require eligible providers that attested to the Medicare EHR incentive program in 2011 to meet Stage 2 requirements in 2013. However, to encourage greater participation in the meaningful use program, HHS has delayed the onset of Stage 2 requirements for early adopters.
Providers who attest to Stage 1 requirements this year will not need to meet the Stage 2 standards until 2014, allowing them to collect the total incentive amount while meeting the less stringent Stage 1 requirements for an additional year.
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs offer financial incentives for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology to achieve both health and efficiency goals. By meaningfully using an EHR system, providers will reap benefits beyond financial incentives, including: a reduction in errors, increased availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, e-prescribing/refill automation, and clinical decision support.
AUTHOR: David Lischner