Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stage 2 Meaningful Use Guidelines Released by CMS

Thursday marked the release of the proposed Stage 2 meaningful use guidelines by the Department of Health and Human Services ‘ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Las Vegas at the annual HIMSS conference. Stage 2 takes the Stage 1 EHR meaningful use rules and turns them up a notch. Core objectives increase the percentage of CPOEs and electronic prescribing, as well as put more emphasis on system interoperability and online access for patients to view their medical information.

Stage 2 ups the ante on computerized physician order entry (CPOE) for hospitals and eligible professionals (EP) not employed by a hospital. CPOEs must be performed for more than 60 percent of medication, laboratory and radiology orders created by an EP, a 30 percent increase from Stage 1. Electronic prescriptions also increased, now meaning 65 percent of all permissible prescriptions are to be transmitted electronically with Certified EHR technology. The percentage of patient demographics and smoking status also increased.

Health information technology interoperability and the electronic engagement with patients also come into focus with Stage 2 EHR meaningful use. EPs and hospitals transitioning patients to another care provider should provide a summary of care record for 65 percent of referrals. The capability to submit data from a Certified EHR to state immunization databases is also now a criterion. Encouraging patient participation in managing their health by providing online access to their health information went form menu set objective to core objective. More than 50 percent of all patients will need access to their health information and EPs will need to prove that at least 10 percent of them are actively using the online service.

To view the entire list of the 17 core objectives and 5 menu set objectives for Stage 2, please visit

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