Umbdenstock and Madara offered four recommendations that they said could be implemented without changing the law.
- Allow providers at Stage 1 to meet the requirements using either the 2011 certified Edition EHR, or the 2014 certified Edition EHR. This will allow more time for vendors to complete upgrades, allowing advanced providers to move ahead to Stage 2, while holding harmless those remaining or entering the program at Stage 1.
- Establish a 90-day reporting period for the first year of each new stage of Meaningful Use for all providers, similar to what was done for Stage 1. This will allow upgrades to be spread out over time, rather than being clustered on certain dates.
- Offer greater flexibility to providers in meeting Stage 2 to ameliorate the "all-or-nothing" problem, and recognize that the level of change in Stage 2 will take time to accomplish.
- Extend each stage of Meaningful Use to no less than three years for all providers. This change recognizes that vendors need time to develop usable and safe upgrades, and providers need time to implement systems and optimize their use before undertaking yet another upgrade.
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.