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CMS hints Stage 3 rules will drop in time for HIMSS15

Officials slated to discuss Stage 3 meaningful use requirements during a session at the conference. Let the anticipation begin.
By Madelyn Kearns
08:01 AM
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Puzzle piece

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is betting that new meaningful use rules will become publicly available in time to talk about them during the upcoming HIMSS15 next month in Chicago.

“We will have two regulations that will come out in time to discuss meaningful use,” said Robert Anthony, deputy director of CMS’ quality measurement and health assessment group. 

Might one of those be the eagerly anticipated Stage 3 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that has been with the rule writers at the Office of Management and Budget since January?

Anthony could not reveal much about Stage 3.

But perusing the HIMSS15 agenda site revealed that Anthony is slated to speak in two sessions, one an overview of the CMS EHR incentive program and the other bearing a perhaps-telling name: CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3 Requirements — and those are the only sessions for which Anthony is listed as a speaker as of press time.

“One of the things we’re hoping to do in upcoming sessions is to talk about what the Stage 3 requirements are going to be,” Anthony said. “Or at least what we’re proposing for them to be.”

The regulations currently at OMB are, after all, a notice of proposed rulemaking and when they drop it kicks off a public comments period.  

What’s more, just about anyone who was at HIMSS12 three years ago in Las Vegas knows that there is no hurrying OMB rule writers and, as such, no bulletproof guarantee that the rules will definitely be posted in time for HIMSS15. Back in 2012 the Stage 2 NPRM dropped literally in the nick of time for CMS and officials from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to discuss them.

As has been the case in the past, the Stage 3 session — scheduled for the second day of HIMSS15 — “is sort of a preparatory session,” Anthony explained, “for people to actually read the regulation and respond.”

The CMS EHR Incentives Program Overview session will take place on Monday, April 13 at 10 a.m. in room S100c; the CMS Meaningful Use Stage 3 Requirements is slated for the same room, same day, at 1 p.m.