The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had issued the proposed rule for Stage 3 of the electronic health records meaningful use program. It is available here and will be officially published on March 30.

Here is a brief CMS summary of the 301-page rule:

"This Stage 3 proposed rule would specify the meaningful use criteria that eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments and avoid downward payment adjustments under Medicare for Stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs.

"It would continue to encourage electronic submission of clinical quality measure (CQM) data for all providers where feasible in 2017, propose to require the electronic submission of CQMs where feasible in 2018, and establish requirements to transition the program to a single stage for meaningful use.

"Finally, this Stage 3 proposed rule would also change the EHR reporting period so that all providers would report under a full calendar year timeline with a limited exception under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program for providers demonstrating meaningful use for the first time. These changes together support our broader efforts to increase simplicity and flexibility in the program while driving interoperability and a focus on patient outcomes in the meaningful use program."

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