As we welcomed in 2014, we also said ‘Hello’ to the start of Meaningful Use Stage 2. The HITECH Act is now five years old. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a deeper dive into some of the changes the 2014 criteria mandate. Note: All stage 1 certified solutions (also known as 2011 stage 1), expired  12/31/2013. This expiration requires your organization to upgrade to a 2014 Edition Certified EHR Technology (CEHERT).

If you find yourself with an expired EHR, what should you do? CALL your EHR provider and request you be provided a date when they’ll obtain certification. Beyond that, find out when your organization will recieve access to the solution. At this point in time, only 1/10th of the solutions that certified for stage 1 are certified for stage 2.  You should find out now if your solution will be certified in time for your attestation period. Another big concern in 2014: If your attestation period will need to push to the last quarter of the year…you’ll be going through your attestation period and the same time you’re expected to move to ICD-10!

You’ve heard it over and over…MU stage 1 (MUS1) was a low bar. It focused on data capture and data access. There were 15 Core objectives (Core = you must do these) and 10 Menu objectives (Menu = optional – you had to select five out of 10). In total, 20 objectives were needed to implement, plus you needed to select six clinical quality measures from a list of 44. The kicker with stage 1 is you had to have an electronic medical record.  You needed to make sure you were on the journey of digitizing your information — not just financially — but also clinically.

MUS2 wants you to use the information you started to capture in stage 1. There are still just 20 objectives (although they are not the same 20…and they’re harder). Now there are 17 core objectives and you must select three of six menu items. The number of clinical quality measures jumped to nine selected from 64. The name of the game is information exchange and care coordination. This includes the consumer…they’re part of the information exchange and need to be involved in their care coordination.

If you haven’t started the MU journey yet, now is the time! This is the last year your organization can start and not lose funding. We have the most experience. Data pulled from ONC’s website totaling 3,043 providers in Health and Human Services shows Netsmart clients account for 45% of all provider dollars paid!

Follow this blog through the RSS feed so you don’t miss out as we discuss some of the internal changes you need to focus on and each of the different 17 core objectives. We are ready for Stage 2 now.  If you need help, we’re here.