Meaningful Use Stage 3: What to Expect

Image via MedScape

Image via MedScape

The ONC's Meaningful Use regulations help to monitor EHR technologies in healthcare. These regulations ultimately improve the quality of patient care, maintain private information, and improve care coordination.

For professionals and hospitals, Meaningful Use compliance means the improvement of clinical outcomes and increased transparency across electronic health systems. 

Compliance allows eligible professionals (EPs), hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) inclusion into the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Incentive Programs (CMS). Benefits from membership include incentive payments to facilitate the implementation of certified EHR technologies (CEHRT) to ensure patient information remains safe. 

Image via HealthIT.gov

Image via HealthIT.gov

Stage 3 of Meaningful Use, which is to be executed in 2018, will focus on the advanced use of medical technologies to promote health information exchange. The CMS's primary objective is to improve patient outcomes through better interoperability across medical practices. A recently proposed rule by the HHS involves a shift in the Stage 3 reporting timeline, whereby the EHR reporting period will require that all eligible healthcare providers report within a full calendar year. 

This timeline contrasts Stage 2 reporting periods, during which eligible professionals would participate in the calendar year, while CAHs and hospitals would participate in the Federal fiscal year.

Among the eight Stage 3 key objectives, primary focus will center around clinical decision support (CDS) and security risk analyses. Furthermore, Stage 3 will require the use of five CDS interventions (not one). While providers are expected to meet Stage 3 program requirements in 2018, providers can begin attestation in 2017. 

For a full description of the 2016 program requirements, visit the CMS website