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HealtHITech Law HIPAA, HITECH and Beyond

Stage 3 Meaningful Use Open for Comment

Posted in Meaningful Use

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”)  has released a Request for Comments on a preliminary set of recommendations for Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use requirements, which are slated to go into effect in 2016.

With its focus on improved outcomes, ONC envisions Stage 3 requirements as encouraging “a collaborative model of care with shared responsibility and accountability.”  These recommendations reflect a transition from “a setting-specific focus to a collaborate, patient- and family- centric approach.”  This emphasis on improved outcomes builds on the goals of Stage 1 (data capturing and sharing) and Stage 2 (advance clinical processes).

Many of the Stage 3 recommendations reflect those seen in Stage 2, but require increased adoption in order for the provider to demonstrate Meaningful Use.  In addition, the recommendations would retire certain measures that have “topped out” because Stage 2 required eligible professionals and hospitals to adopt them at an 80% threshold.  For example, the Stage 2 requirement that eligible professionals and hospitals record the smoking status of more than 80% of patients age 13 years or older would no longer be necessary.  The recommendations also include certain new objectives, such as enabling patients to add to or amend their medical records electronically, as well as requiring the provider to send electronic notification of a significant healthcare event, such as a patient’s arrival at an emergency department or admission or discharge from the hospital, to key members of that patient’s care team.

ONC is soliciting comments on these recommendations through January 14, 2013.  The committee that developed the recommendations will analyze the feedback it receives and plans to revisit the recommendations in its public meetings in the first quarter of 2013.