December 18, 2013
There is a lot of buzz lately about Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements for filing and frankly a lot of confusion, too, which is prompting many questions . As you might have heard, this month CMS made a special announcement that a decision had been made to extend the Stage 2 timeline to 2016. What this means is that Stage 3 will not begin until 2017.
It does not extend the beginning of Stage 2 as it will still be effective this year 2014 for those providers who have successfully attested already for two years of Stage 1.
With that being said, CMS makes it clear for the following timelines of reporting:
- Stage 1 reporting periods are two years, one for 90 days and the second for 365. You must report two years of Stage 1 before moving on to Stage 2.
- Stage 2 reporting begins in 2014 (or after a provider has successfully attested to MU for two years)
- Stage 2 for 2014 has a special reporting period for three months or 90 days which will be a quarterly requirement.
- Stage 3 will begin in 2017.
So, if you are wondering whether you are reporting Stage 1 or 2 this year, CMS has a useful EHR incentive participation timeline tool you can use to help figure this out. It provides a visual guideline for practice managers trying to figure out the timeline for reporting.
Enter in the year you were attesting for in the attestation process. (Ex. If you attested to the first year of MU Stage 1 with your 90 days being in 2011 then enter 2011 and your Stage 2 reporting will begin in 2014.) Remember, no matter when you start reporting for MU you must report Stage 1 for two years and then move through the timeline.
CMS has also explained the purpose of the Stages of reporting to be as follows:
- Stage 1 – Used for data capture and recording information electronically
- Stage 2 – Moving data through the continuum of care and exchanging data
- Stage 3 – Improving patient and financial outcomes
There will be much more to report; but for now, this is enough to chew on and should be a help to you in figuring out your next steps for 2014 as we embark on the New Year. If you need more help understanding the attestation requirements, give us a call at 866-492-0481 and we will be glad to assist you.
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