Final Stage 2 Meaningful Use Rule Under Review by OMB

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Final regulations for Stage 2 of the meaningful use program are being reviewed by the White House Office of Management and Budget, a sign the rule is nearing publication.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services July 16 sent the final Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program--Stage 2 rule to OMB. Regulatory review is considered one of the last steps of the rulemaking process.

CMS published the proposed rule March 7 (77 Fed. Reg. 13,698, March 7, 2012) and public comments were due May 7 (see previous article).

In public comments, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association told CMS the rules should be simplified and that the timeline for the second phase of the EHR incentive program--slated to begin in 2014--should be extended (04 HITR 7, 5/21/12)(23 MCR 573, 5/18/12).

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology also on March 7 published a proposed companion rule that updates technical standards and EHR certification criteria for Stage 2 of the incentive program (77 Fed. Reg. 13,831, March 7, 2012)(see previous article). The final version of that rule is not yet under review, according to the OMB website.

The proposed meaningful use rule from CMS is available at

The proposed standards and certification rule from ONC is available at