Stage 2 'Meaningful Use' Quality Measures Should Include Most Physicians, Specialties

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Stage 2 “meaningful use” quality measure criteria should be expanded to apply to as many specialists and physicians as possible, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's workgroup on quality measurement agreed April 12.

One option for enabling this type of expansion would be to restructure the criteria into core criteria and menu set criteria based on area of practice or specialty, such as surgery, pediatrics, or primary care, David Lansky, workgroup chair and Pacific Business Group chief executive officer, said.

Current Stage 1 meaningful use criteria are focused predominantly on primary care, and are split into core and menu set criteria.

“We should try to aim for a national quality strategy where specialty [physicians] and [different] areas of medicine can see their practices reflected in the quality measures,” Eva Powell, director of health IT programs for the National Partnership for Women and Families, said.

The workgroup said the Stage 2 meaningful use criteria recommendations should harmonize with the quality measure reporting requirements for other Medicare and Medicaid programs, and also include new measures for Stage 2 that would align the electronic health record incentive program requirements with accountable care organization requirements and other initiatives' requirements, Lansky said.

The HIT Policy Committee endorsed the direction of the quality measure workgroup's recommendations for Stage 2 meaningful use criteria March 2.

The workgroup plans to draft recommendations on Stage 2 quality measures that would:

• make the delivery of health care safer, such as through reporting adverse medication events;

• ensure patient and family-centered care;

• promote effective communication and coordination of care among physicians;

• promote the most effective prevention and treatment practices for the leading causes of mortality, starting with cardiovascular disease;

• promote wide use of best practices in communities; and

• reduce the cost of care.


The quality measures workgroup also plans to participate in the meaningful use workgroup's hearing on physician specialties and meaningful use in May.

More information on the quality measures workgroup is available at by clicking on the April 12 quality measures workgroup meeting entry on the ONC federal advisory committee calendar.