EHR Incentive Program Meaningful Use Criteria And Vendor Delays Cause Concern, Complaints From Provider Representatives

Meeting in Washington D.C. on February 4, 2014, the federal government’s Health Information Technology Policy Committee fielded complaints about the progression of criteria for meaningful use for the electronic health record incentive program.  According to an article in Modern Healthcare, the discussion, led by the meaningful use working group co-chairmen Dr. Paul Tang and Dr. George Hripcsak, caused representatives of hospitals and other providers to voice concern about the difficulty in meeting the timelines and requirements for meaningful  use due in part to vendor issues.

In December 2013, CMS implemented a delayed timeline for meaningful use, extending Stage 2 through 2016 and slating Stage 3 to begin in 2017.  CMS stated that the revised timeline served two purposes: (1) to focus on “successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2” and (2) to allow data from stage 2 to effect policy decisions for Stage 3.   Stage 1 focused on creating information; Stage 2 focuses on exchanging health information and Stage 3 is focused on improved outcomes.

According to Modern Healthcare author Joseph Conn, the policy director for the American Hospital Association told the HIT Policy Committee members that vendors have not been timely obtaining EHR testing and certification to meet the standards for Stage 2 and that, ““If there are any hospitals that have met Stage 2, it can only be a few. Vendors are behind in delivery product. It’s urgent that we get a signal very soon whether we will get more time to meet Stage 2.”  This is consistent with AHA’s December 19, 2013 letter to Health and Human Services which lays out the challenges hospitals face, “obtaining and installing certified EHRs that work as promised.”  Acknowledging the revised timeline by CMS to begin Stage 3 in 2017 rather than 2016, the AHA noted that the concern was regarding Stage 2 requirements and the inability of vendors to keep pace with the certified EHR criteria.  According to the AHA, based on the current timelines, 40 percent of hospitals are at risk of not meeting meaningful use in fiscal year 2014.


  1. […] response to provider and vendor concerns about the ability to certify to the 2014 Electronic Health Record (EHR) standards to qualify for […]

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