The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society supports Stage 2 of the electronic health records meaningful use program starting on time, recommends an extended attestation period for the first year.

Many providers are ready for Stage 2, starting in October 2013 for hospitals and January 2014 for eligible professionals, but many others need more time, the association says in a letter to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and ONC leader Dr. Farzad Mostashari.

“Therefore, HIMSS recommends that Year 1 of the Meaningful Use Stage 2 attestation period extend through April 2015 and June 2015 for EHs and EPs, respectively,” according to the letter. “This would encompass 18 months in which EHs and EPs can attest to quarterly Meaningful Use requirements.”

Information in the HIMSS Analytics Database indicates that up to 68 percent of eligible hospitals and 41 percent of their tethered ambulatory facilities have purchased necessary software to attest to 2014 criteria, but many may still be waiting for upgrades to the certified version, HIMSS notes.

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