WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dec. 7, 2013 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced in a dual-authored blog post Dec. 6, 2013, a new timeline for implementing meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Under the proposal, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016, and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2.

“The goal of this change is two-fold: first, to allow CMS and ONC to focus efforts on the successful implementation of the enhanced patient engagement, interoperability and health information exchange requirements in Stage 2; and second, to utilize data from Stage 2 participation to inform policy decisions for Stage 3,” the post stated. “The phased approach to program participation helps providers move from creating information in Stage 1, to exchanging health information in Stage 2, to focusing on improved outcomes in Stage 3.”

CMS anticipates the release of the proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3 in the fall of 2014, including further details on the new timeline. The final rule with all requirements for Stage 3 would follow in the first half of 2015.

In the blog, ONC also proposed a more regular approach to updating certification regulations.

Read the full blog post at http://go.cms.gov/1d1oCNr.