The Health IT Policy Committee's meaningful use workgroup held its second listening session on May 27 to get feedback from stakeholders on their recommendations for Stage 3 of the electronic health records incentive program. What vendors told the workgroup was that more focus and prioritization is needed for Stage 3.

Leigh Burchell, vice chair of the HIMSS Electronic Health Records Association, argued that Stage 3 must be designed in such a way as to avoid and also reverse many of the “unintended consequences” created during Stage 2. “As everyone knows, CMS and ONC announced a significant relaxation of the 2014 participation obligations on May 20 and explicitly acknowledged that the Stage 2 timelines were simply too short given the extensive scope of the requirements,” said Burchell. “Indeed, the thinking underlying this proposal aligns well with what we have learned from Stage 1 and Stage 2, and is a primary reason we’ve begun urging a more focused and prioritized approach to Stage 3 of the incentive program.”

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