Should Meaningful Use Stage 2 Be Delayed?

Even as physicians and other eligible professionals sign up for the EHR Incentive program, there are questions about whether the 2013 goal for MU Stage 2 is realistic. The timelines are tight — the final rule for Stage 2 will probably not be released until mid-2012. Will eligible professionals and eligible hospitals be able to go through Stage 1 and be ready for Stage 2 in 2013? Will EHR vendors be able to develop, test, and implement the features/functions required to be ONC-ATCB certified for 2013? Will there be any reliable information about how EPs and EHs did in Stage 1 when decisions about Stage 2 are made?

These are important questions. Healthcare IT News covers this issue in an article today.

What do you think? Should Stage 2 be delayed until 2014? Should 2013 remain the target, but the reporting period shortened to 90 days — just as the first year of Stage 1?

This post is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American College of Physicians (ACP). ACP does not endorse a specific EHR brand or product and ACP makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy or completeness of the information provided herein.


3 responses to "Should Meaningful Use Stage 2 Be Delayed?"
  • May 5, 2011
    Alan Brookstone

    Michael, this is an interesting question and one that speaks to capacity for change. In my experience as a user of an EHR in a medical practice, it takes a long time for day-to-day processes to become embedded in workflow so that they feel natural. Placing too heavy a load on clinicians who are dealing with additional challenges relating to transformation in the healthcare system can push many over the edge and make them less productive, rather than more productive. One question that is difficult to answer is how much capacity is there for change and when is it appropriate to push the envelope with the requirements to meet Meaningful Use Stage 2?

  • May 18, 2011
    Thomson Kuhn

    I believe that the current schedule is unfair to those who choose to start Meaningful Use this year. It is likely that they will not have a fully-functional Stage 2 system up and running on 1/1/13, and this completely disqualifies them from a payment that year. On the other hand, extending Stage 1 into 2013 for these folks means that they may only spend one year at stage 2 (2014) before they have to move to Stage 3. Not a happy situation. To me, the safest approach is to begin Meaningful Use in 2012. Note that this is strictly my personal view and does not reflect anyone else’s view or position. There are certainly good arguments to be made for starting this year, such as reduced risk that future program changes could have as hard a negative impact.

  • May 20, 2011
    Carmen Brown

    I agree, this is a good question. Our practice currently has EHR up and running and most likely, will not be able to attest to MU due to a lacking infrastructure in our state for true exchange based on ONC standards. We believe MU Stage 2 is unrealstic given the lack of resources with hospitals, IT vendors (HIE and EHR), and providers. Our leaders knew when they established this unrealistic timeline that industry was deprived of financial and staffing resources necessary for implementing such projects. This is why they’ve provided funding for education to grow the workforce and created the incentive program to begin with. Today, real time, vendors and adopters still lack the manpower and financial resources. What did our leaders expect, though? While all of these initiatives are necessary, adequate timing must be given for the industry to efficiently implement and adhere to new laws. A complete overhaul of an industry and it’s workflow and processes cannot be done efficiently in 2 years.

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