Providers Prepare for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use

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Meaningful Use stage 2 guidelines build on stage 1, promote data exchange and patient engagement.

While many providers are still knee deep in the first stage of meaningful use, countless others have yet to implement an EMR system, much less attest to meaningful use. Still, many medical professionals have already started preparing for meaningful use stage 2. Understanding what is expected from providers for meaningful use is the best way to prepare and to ensure that objectives and reporting requirements are met.

When will I need to begin reporting?  The earliest that any eligible hospital or provider can attest to meaningful use stage 2 is 2014. To do so, healthcare professionals must first demonstrate two years of meaningful use under the criteria for stage 1.

What should I expect?  For providers who have already spent two years familiarizing themselves with the first stage of meaningful use, including its core and menu objectives, attesting for stage 2 should be fairly straightforward. Stage 2 retains the same structure as the first phase but increases the number of core measures that must be met as well as percentages for those objectives. For example, in stage 1 physicians were required to record specific demographic information in their certified EMR software for more than 50 percent of patients. In stage 2, the requirement has increased to more than 80 percent of patients.

  • Core and Menu Objectives: For meaningful use stage 2, eligible providers will need to meet 17 of 20 core objectives and eligible hospitals will be required to meet 16 of 19. Both hospitals and providers will need to meet 3 of 6 menu objectives.
  • Clinical Quality Measures (CQM): CQMs have been removed as a core objective; however, physicians must still report on CQMs to show meaningful use. Providers will be required to report on 9 of 64 CQMs, and hospitals will need to report on 16 of 29.

What else has changed from stage 1 to stage 2?

Reporting period: In 2014 there will only be one three-month reporting period for all providers, regardless of which stage of meaningful use they are on Batch reporting: Starting with stage 2, organizations will be able to submit attestation information for all of their eligible professionals in one file. Previously, data had to be entered separately for each provider.

Patient engagement: A new core objective in stage 2 requires all providers (except those in limited broadband areas) to use secure electronic messaging to communicate with at least 5 percent patients. For a different objective, physicians must provide at least 5 percent of their patients the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information within four business days of the information being available to the provider.

Electronic exchange: A new core objective will require physicians to provide a summary of care record for more than 50 percent of patients that are referred to a another care setting or provider. Of those care records, more than 10 percent must be sent electronically – and at least one must be to a provider with a different EMR system or to a CMS-designated test EMR.

Are you looking for an EMR system that can help you meet meaningful use objectives? Contact us to learn more about the interactive Meaningful Use Reporting Module in our fully certified medical billing, EMR and practice management software.