The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday published the final version of rules that give physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers additional flexibility in how they comply with the Meaningful Use program in 2014.
The final rule largely mirrors the proposal released in May. Specifically, physicians this year can use certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) that meets the 2011 criteria or a combination of the 2011 and 2014 criteria to attest to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. All physicians will be required to use the 2014 CEHRT criteria to attest in 2015.
The change was made after it was determined that technology meeting the updated criteria was not going to be widely available to users this year.
The final rule also gave providers who began Meaningful Use in 2011 or 2012 until 2017 to begin Stage 3 instead of the beginning of 2016.
Of course, although these delays are welcome, practices shouldn't become complacent or slow down their efforts to achieve compliance.
For more information on Meaningful Use and EHRs in general, see FPM's Electronic Health Records topic collection.
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