The requirements to successfully demonstrate meaningful use were revised in the Final Rule, Stage 3 and Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017, published on October 6, 2015. According to CMS, the changes were made in response to feedback from all stakeholders (including providers and EHR vendors like SRS), with the goal of simplifying the program, reducing the burden on providers, and focusing on the more advanced use of EHRs, e.g., interoperability and quality reporting—the original intentions of the program.
Stage 2 is characterized by:
Increased interoperability and exchange of data between providers and with patients
Increased patient engagement in care
Higher thresholds and more complex requirements
Continued exclusions for some measures that may not be relevant to particular specialties or practice types
Clinical quality measure reporting
All providers report “Modified Stage 2”:
Beginning in 2015, all providers are considered to be at “Modified Stage 2”, with some accommodations (reduced thresholds and/or alternate exclusions) available to providers who were previously scheduled for Stage 1 in 2015, so that they do not have to meet requirements that they were not anticipating. Fewer such accommodations are available in 2016, and they will no longer be offered to new program participants from 2017 on.
*Exclusions available for some measures based on low volume, lack of relevance to practice, low broadband access.
**CMS FAQ #14397 (2/25/16) provides additional registry measure exclusions for 2015 and 2016.