Eligible professionals and hospitals participating in Stage 2 of electronic health records meaningful use should have a 90-day reporting period for their first payment year in the second stage, according to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

CHIME’s call to start Stage 2 with a 90-day reporting period rather than a full year, in a comment to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, mirrors a recommendation that the American Hospital Association made in its comments on the Stage 2 rules from CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT.

“To allow adequate time for application development, provider adoption and testing, CMS should follow the precedent set in Stage 1,” CHIME notes. “And similar to Stage 1, the EMR reporting period would be any continuous 90-day period within the first payment year of Stage 2 and a 365-day reporting period for all subsequent payment years within Stage 2.”

An initial 90-day reporting period can ensure that more meaningful users under Stage 1 will become Stage 2 meaningful users, says Pamela McNutt, CIO at Methodist Health System in Dallas and a CHIME policy steering committee member.

In a comment letter to ONC, which published a proposed rule for Stage 2 EHR Certification criteria, CHIME noted that while Stage 1-certified EHRs were able to product reports for clinical quality measures, “the data was inaccurate and largely incomparable across different providers.”

Consequently, the association of CIOs and other health I.T. leaders calls for ONC to require certification of EHR products to all clinical quality measures needed to meet meaningful use in each setting of care. “And in order to minimize the costs of development and implementation, we recommend that ONC work with CMS to limit the total number of CQMs associated with each setting.”

CHIME’s comment letter to CMS is here and the letter to ONC is here.

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