August 26, 2013 — Adopting an approach that encourages continued progress while simultaneously acknowledging short-term obstacles, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recommends launching Stage 2 Meaningful Use on-schedule and extending Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period through April 2015 and June 2015 for eligible hospitals (EHs) and eligible professionals (EPs), respectively. This would encompass 18 months in which EHs and EPs can attest to Meaningful Use requirements for one quarter.
Data from the more than 5,400 hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics database indicate clear challenges for EHs and tethered ambulatory care facilities preparing for Meaningful Use Stage 2. These data show up to 68 percent of EHs and 41 percent of tethered ambulatory facilities have purchased the necessary software to attest to the 2014 Certification requirements, but there are concerns that many may still be waiting for the necessary upgrade to the certified version.
HIMSS shared its position on extending the deadline for Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation in an Aug. 15 letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner; and, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, M.D., ScM.
“In our Call to Action, HIMSS asks the healthcare community — providers, hospitals and vendors — to come together in their execution plans for the 2014 certification process and implementation of 2014 certified products. We have recommended an extra six months to achieve Year 1 of Meaningful Use Stage 2, which is a brief amount of time when considering our ultimate and joint goal of successful implementation of health IT to support care coordination and healthcare transformation,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS.
For more information: www.himss.org