Are you ready for Stage 3?

If you’re like many providers and hospitals, the answer is no.

Providers are imploring CMS to slow down the pace when it comes to meaningful use of electronic health records.

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The proposed Stage 3 Meaningful Use was released by CMS in March.

The proposed rule would require providers to report on a full calendar year cycle in 2017. The rule would also require electronic reporting of clinical quality measures in 2018.

Many provider groups are speaking out against Stage 3, arguing that CMS is pushing providers at a pace that is much too fast.

The American Hospital Association has requested that CMS refrain from finalizing Stage 3 and instead evaluate Stage 2. Some groups argue that the goals set out in Stage 3 are near impossible to reach.

Stage 2 was released in 2012 and many hospitals are still struggling to implement parts of the rule.

Stage 2 included the use of secure electronic messaging for physicians.

Many providers are concerned with the costs involved with Stage 3 compliance.

Upgrading EHRs to meet requirements will initially cost physicians approximately $54,000, plus an estimated $10,000 in annual maintenance costs.

Rural hospitals face even more challenges with the proposed requirement of having patients use an online portal to upload information.

 Why should you be worried?

The consequences for not meeting the requirements of the proposed rule will be severe.

Eligible professionals who do not meet the requirements are expected to pay $500 million in Medicare penalties between 2018 and 2020.

In our next blog post, we will keep you informed of related issues.  To get this important information delivered directly to your mail box, click here to Subscribe.

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P.S. If you or your patients are interested in consumer healthcare issues, check out myhealthspin.com.

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