We've had News Editor Joseph Goedert chained to his desk since late February, injecting coffee and carbohydrates into his tired body to keep him writing about the proposed Stage 2 meaningful use rules. His feature this month goes way deep into the rules and raises questions about a wide range of technological and reporting requirements. It's an exercise in analysis, not criticism, and his work-this story and prior reporting-provides I.T. leaders with an idea about what they're up against. (For his efforts, Joe got to walk around his backyard for 15 minutes, and change his socks.)

Something that really caught my attention in the feature is that some of the language in the proposed Stage 2 requirements seems to be setting the industry up for a Stage 4, an extra round that would stretch into the next decade. The passage, flagged by Debra White, a partner in the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, shows the progress through Stages 1 through 3 depending on when a provider starts, and then lists TBD "to be determined" from 2018 through 2021. Then this: "If there will be a Stage 4 of meaningful use, we expect to update this table in the rulemaking for Stage 3."

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