The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has sent the final rule for Stage 2 of the electronic health records meaningful use program to the Office of Management and Budget for review, one of the last steps before publication.

The rule will finalize criteria for providers to demonstrate they are using previous and newly mandated functionalities in EHRs in a “meaningful” manner. A proposed rule published in February substantially raised the bar--some say unrealistically--for meaningful use compliance in Stage 2, particularly in the area of health information exchange. But that rule, and a companion proposed rule covering certification of EHRs, also showed more flexibility for meeting certain requirements.

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