Planning for Stage 3 is Underway – Meaningful Use Monday

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money. Check out Lynn’s previous Meaningful Use Monday posts.

At the HIT Policy Committee’s meeting on August 1st, the Meaningful Use Workgroup presented its preliminary recommendations for meaningful use Stage 3. Giving plenty of advance warning regarding its intentions for Stage 3, the Policy Committee hopes to avoid the type of timing issues that led to the postponement of Stage 2. The committee plans to send its final recommendations to HHS by May 2013, well in advance of the earliest timeline for Stage 3—2016. In light of this schedule, the initial recommendations are being formulated before we know how Stage 2 will be finalized and before we can fully evaluate Stage 1. Hopefully, as the planning process advances, the committee will have the time to take into account the experience of participating providers. 

As outlined in the preliminary recommendations, Stage 3 would intensify Stage 2’s emphasis on interoperability and patient engagement and expand on care coordination, quality and safety, and population health. It would foster a new model of care that is team-based, outcome-oriented, and geared toward population management. To accomplish this, it would include—among other requirements —expansion of clinical decision support, including tracking of compliance; electronic management of referrals; and enabling patients to update or correct information that is in their chart. 

Lest you think that a plan for Stage 3 means that the end is now in sight, sit back and take a deep breath. The plan envisions a Stage 4!

About the author

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps

Lynn Scheps is Vice President, Government Affairs at EHR vendor SRSsoft. In this role, Lynn has been a Voice of Physicians and SRSsoft users in Washington during the formulation of the meaningful use criteria. Lynn is currently working to assist SRSsoft users interested in showing meaningful use and receiving the EHR incentive money.

1 Comment

  • Government did its job by creating the incentives to jump start the EHR industry which had been stuck without growing penetration for at least a decade. Now government needs to step back and let the market move toward the goal of better care at lower costs. Setting a requirement for public reporting of relevant quality measures (defining relevant is no small task), would allow the market to stop checking MU boxes and focus instead on innovating to beat competitors. Thousands of entities trying to beat competitors will do a far better job of helping us achieve our broader goals (better care, lower cost) than prescriptive MU criteria, no matter how open the process, how smart the participants or how well intentioned. It is simply a numbers game and thousands will innovate more effectively than dozens. It is time to pay all of the incentive dollars to those who meat MU 1 and agree to post quality measures publicly, doing away with all other MU stages.

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