CMS/ONC Propose EHR Incentive Program Deadline Extension

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would extend the deadline for beginning Stage 2 of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program and complying with the requirement to have EHRs certified to the 2014 standards until Jan. 1, 2015.

This means that physicians and hospitals would not have to meet the requirements for Stage 2 in 2014. Instead, if the proposal is finalized, physicians and hospitals would be able to continue to meet the Stage 1 requirements and still receive the requisite incentive payments in 2014, as well as avoid future penalties, as long as they attest to delays in upgrading to the new EHR requirements as the reason behind their need for the additional time. Physicians and hospitals would still retain the option of earning the incentive payment for 2014 by meeting the Stage 2 requirements if they are able to upgrade to new systems and implement the new requirements in time. CMS is also proposing to postpone the implementation of Stage 3 until 2017.

The ACC is reviewing the proposal in full and will submit comments to CMS and ONC on this important issue.

Keywords: Electronic Health Records, Motivation, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Medical Informatics

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