Plans to delay stage two of meaningful use incentive met with support

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Last month’s proposals by the Health IT Policy Committee to extend the deadline for healthcare providers to comply with stage two of the federal meaningful use incentive have been supported by national health IT coordinator Dr. Farzad Mostashari, according to Information Week.

The news outlet reports that Dr. Mostashari voiced his support for the proposal during a telephone meeting at the 20th Annual Physician Computer Connection Symposium in Ojai, California.

At present, healthcare providers that have completed stage one of meaningful use requirements in 2011 have one year to reach stage two. Under the Health IT Policy Committee’s recommendations, providers that utilize medical informatics systems would have three years to comply.

Healthcare IT News reports that Mostashari believes that providers that have attested to adoption of stage one requirements early should be rewarded. “The last thing we want to do is provide a disincentive towards attesting for meaningful use in 2011,” said Mostashari, as quoted by the news outlet.

The reporting period for 2013 is due to commence in October 2012, leaving healthcare providers little time to prepare for stage two once stage one attestation has been successfully completed.

“We need to do a few things to get to where we need to go,” said Dr. Mostashari, as quoted by Information Week. Were the proposals to be accepted, “there is an incentive for anyone who’s ready to go,” and that there would be “no reason to delay,” in attesting to stage one, Mostashari added.

Information Week reports that staff from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), speaking at the recent Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems conference in Ojai, California, said that a ruling regarding meaningful use stage two could be expected by the end of this year and that a final ruling would come later in 2012.