The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Dec. 30 posted a proposed--and long awaited--rule defining "meaningful use" of electronic health records to qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Also posted was an interim final rule from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology that sets initial standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria for EHR technology.

Both rules are available for viewing in a draft format at federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx, and will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 13, with a 60-day comment period effective at that time. The interim final rule will become effective 30 days after publication.

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