Call for public comments this month will kick off Stage 3 timetable

EHR visionaries: Start crystalizing your thoughts on meaningful use Stage 3.

[See also: Stage 3 MU policy draft wraps around decision support]

Leaders of the HIT Policy Committee, which advises the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) on technology infrastructure, have indicated that ONC expects to call for public comment on a draft of Stage 3 meaningful use requirements this month.

At an HIT Policy Committee meeting on Oct. 3, the meaningful use workgroup presented preliminary recommendations for Stage 3 to the committee. Final Stage 3 meaningful use requirements are expected to become effective in 2016.

According to Paul Tang, chair of the meaningful use workgroup, the guiding principles used by the workgroup for the development of any meaningful use Stage 3 requirement is that it should:

  • support new models of care that are team-based, outcomes-oriented and population management-oriented;
  • address national health priorities with broad applicability, including priorities for provider specialties and regions of the country;
  • promote advancement of population health beyond what is already driven by market forces;
  • be achievable and a mature set of standards widely adopted -- or that could be widely adopted -- by 2016; and
  • include a reasonableness/ feasibility of products or organizational capacity.

[See also: Meaningful use Q&A with AAFP’s Steven Waldren, MD]

Tang also said the workgroup would like to have standards available, even if they are not yet widely adopted. “We don’t want standards to be an excuse for not moving forward,” he said.

The HIT Policy Committee has presented the following timeline for the development of Stage 3, which includes a November release of a request for comment (RFC):

  • Dec. 21, 2012 – RFC deadline.
  • January 2013 – ONC to synthesize the RFC comments for HIT Policy committee workgroups to review.
  • February 2013 – The workgroups will reconcile RFC comments.
  • March 2013 – The workgroups will present a revised draft of Stage 3 requirements to ONC.
  • April 2013 – ONC is expected to approve final Stage 3 recommendations.
  • May 2013 – ONC will transmit final Stage 3 recommendations to HHS.

A grid of the Stage 3 proposal drafted by the meaningful use workgroup can be found here.


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