The US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published a proposed rule last week that would give eligible healthcare providers more time to meet meaningful use standards for electronic health record technology (“CEHRT”).

The proposed rule would formalize CMS’ previously announced plan to extend the implementation of Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017.  Additionally, for 2014 only, eligible providers who cannot fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT for the 2014 reporting year due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability may continue to use 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 Edition and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting periods in CY 2014 and FY 2014, respectively.  However, providers are strongly recommended to obtain 2014 Ediction CEHRT, which they will be retired to use for their EHR reporting period in 2015.

The rule notes that many electronic health record (“”er”) vendors “have indicated, through letters to CMS, public forums and listening sessions, survey data, and information related to the certification and testing process, that the amount of time available after the publication of the Stage 2 final rule in which to make the required coding changes to enable their EHR products to be certified to the 2014 Edition of EHR certification criteria was much too short.”
Comments must be submitted by no later than 5 pm on July 21, 2014.  Comments should refer to file code CMS-0052-P and can be submitted electronically here.  The full rule can be accessed here.