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Mixed reviews for meaningful use Stage 2 rule

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It hasn’t been long since the release of the Stage 2 meaningful use final rule—some 700 pages that will define how eligible Medicare and Medicaid providers can qualify for incentive payments—and it’s already getting mixed reviews.

Leaders of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) say the rules allow the health-care community to continue down the road of ensuring health information technology supports the changing health care landscape.

The HIMSS named several significant policy decisions included in the rule, including moving the start date for Stage 2 to 2014; allowing a 90-day reporting period in the first year of Stage 2 and accepting 2013 as the attestation deadline.

Still, many providers are already suggesting there’s a problem—namely, the rule isn’t flexible enough, posing difficulties for physicians with fewer resources.

“We remain concerned that physicians have to meet all of the required measures, and failing to meet just one measure would cause a physician to miss out on incentives and even face financial penalties,” said Steven J. Stack, MD, board chair for the American Medical Association (AMA).

One problem is that the rule often makes a provider’s ability to comply dependent on someone else. For example, 40 percent of lab results must be reported in the universal standard known as LOINC (for the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes)—but some physicians, particularly in small groups and solo practices, may work with smaller labs that don’t use LOINC.

This leaves some issues to be ironed out before you switch over to Stage 2. If you have any questions regarding the switch, please contact us.