The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced recently that the final rules for stage two of meaningful use regulations have been released and will be published in the Federal Register on September 4, according to Healthcare IT News.
Healthcare providers will not have to meet the requirements until 2014 in order to be eligible for financial incentives provided through the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement program. So far, $6.6 billion in incentives has been provided for healthcare professionals.
The final rule will include 20 measures for physicians and 19 objectives for hospitals. Physicians will have to fulfill 17 core measures and three menu items while hospital systems will have to meet 16 core requirements and three menu objectives.
The final rule focused on access to healthcare data and the development of health information exchanges. As for allowing patients to access their data, consumers will not be given an electronic copy but will gain "electronic or online access" to their medical information.
The online publication CMIO mentioned the positive and negative reactions of medical organizations after the new rulings for stage two of meaningful use regulations were released.
"While we appreciate that CMS has allowed for a shorter meaningful use reporting period for 2014, we are disappointed that this rule sets an unrealistic date by which hospitals must achieve the initial meaningful use requirements to avoid penalties," the American Hospital Association's Senior Vice President of Public Policy Analysis and Development Linda Fishman said in an August 23 statement. "In addition, CMS complicated the reporting of clinical quality measures and added to the meaningful use objectives, creating significant new burdens."
With new requirements for the implementation and use of healthcare IT systems on the rise, hospitals and medical practices will need knowledgeable professionals capable of working with electronic medical records (EMRs). Medical scribes trained in EMR use offer physicians the ability to handle a high patient volume without needing to concern themselves with medical documentation.