CMS to Release Stage 2 Meaningful Use proposals

Monday, February 27th, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have just announced proposed regulations for Stage 2 Meaningful Use and Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Incorporating recommendations from the Health IT Policy Committee, they stress the need for hospitals and physicians to improve quality and efficiency through HIT. The rules focus on increasing the electronic capturing of health information in a structured format, and increasing the exchange of clinically relevant information between providers of care at so-called “care transitions.”

At this time of writing, some of the new Stage 2 recommendations will include the following: the percentage of orders entered via computerized physician order entry (CPOE) will rise from 30 percent to 60 percent and include medications, labs and radiology; E-prescribing in the emergency department will increase from 40 percent to 60 percent; and recording objectives, such as problem lists, vitals and smoking status will increase from 50 percent to 80 percent.

The proposed Stage 2 regulations will keep some Stage 1 criteria unchanged, revise others, and include new requirements. Once published in the Federal Register, there will be a 60 day comment period; these regulations are expected to be released this summer.

In related news, the use of HIT by hospitals and physicians has more than doubled in the last two years and CMS reports that nearly 2,000 hospitals and more than 41,000 doctors have received $3.1 billion in incentive payments for ensuring meaningful use of health IT, particularly certified EHRs. EHR incentive payments can total as much as $44,000 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and $63,750 under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Want to know the secrets to launching a successful ACO pilot program? Thomson Reuters has published a report showing four key metrics that can predict success; the first metric is the number of attributed members. The others are detailed in this issue.

And unfortunately, there is no secret formula to reducing avoidable hospitalizations; according to a new study from Delta Health Technologies, which was based on data from more than 1,000 homecare agencies across the U.S., while most agencies are taking steps to reduce avoidable hospitalizations, with patient care a strong concern, there was no one magic formula for success in this area. But there were a number of findings on successful hospitalization reduction strategies.

And don’t forget to participate in our latest e-survey: our third annual Healthcare Case Management survey. Participants receive a free, downloadable executive summary of the results once compiled.

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