In a press release dated Feb 24, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule detailing the requirements for stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 established incentives for health care professionals and hospitals that adopt certified electronic health record (EHR) technology and use it in a meaningful way.
CMS established three stages of “meaningful use” for EHR technology. Stage 1, which began in 2011, requires transfer of data to EHRs and the ability to share information such as electronic copies and visit summaries for patients. Stage 2, which is described in the proposed rule, includes requirements for online access of health information for patients as well as electronic health information exchange between providers. The proposed rule requires implementation of Stage 2 by 2014.