New steps in the use of electronic health records

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the next steps in the president’s effort to help doctors and hospitals use electronic health records. Here is an excerpt from the HHS’ news release:

Today, HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released final requirements for stage 2 that hospitals and health care providers must meet in order to qualify for incentives during the second stage of the program, and criteria that electronic health records must meet to achieve certification.

The requirements announced today:

• Make clear that stage two of the program will begin as early as 2014. No providers will be required to follow the Stage 2 requirements outlined today before 2014.
• Outline the certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they use will work, help them meaningfully use health information technology, and qualify for incentive payments.
• Modify the certification program to cut red tape and make the certification process more efficient.
• Allow current “2011 Edition Certified EHR Technology” to be used until 2014.

For Milliman’s perspective on electronic health records, click here.

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