The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT has released a proposed rule to set standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria for electronic health records under the Stage 2 meaningful use program.

The rule, available here, is a companion to the core Stage 2 rule released on Feb. 23 that governs much of the program, including the setting of meaningful use criteria. Both rules are scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on March 7, with a 60-day comment period to follow.

“The proposed new and revised certification criteria would establish the technical capabilities and specify the related standards and implementation specifications that certified electronic health record technology would need to include to, at a minimum, support the achievement of meaningful use by eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs beginning with the EHR reporting periods in fiscal year and calendar year 2014,” ONC states in the rule.

The proposed rule also would revise the permanent EHR certification program. Vendors for instance, would not have to re-certify functionality required under Stage 1 that carries over to Stage 2, but only obtain “gap certification” of new requirements. Providers would be required only to have the EHR functionality needed to demonstrate meaningful use.

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