The CMS late Friday finalized a rule allowing hospitals and eligible professionals more flexibility in how they meet meaningful-use requirements for the electronic health-record incentive program. The agency had first proposed the idea in a May draft rule. Friday’s final rule left the May proposal unchanged.
The rule would grant providers a longer timeline and more flexibility in meeting the incentive goals laid out by the stimulus program first created in the 2009 HITECH Act. The incentive program provides doctors and hospitals stimulus funding to implement electronic health records.
The rule pushes back the beginning of the third stage of meaningful use for the first cohort of adopters until Jan. 1, 2017, as opposed to the old standard of Jan. 1, 2016.
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