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Workgroup: Stage 3 must 'connect the dots' between functionality, outcomes

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To meet the goal of Meaningful Use's Stage 3 to improve outcomes, the functional objectives need to be linked to the outcomes, according to the Health IT Policy Committee's Meaningful Use Workgroup. The question is how best to "connect the dots."

The workgroup, presenting at the committee's Sept. 4 meeting, reported that it is revising the objectives from Stages 1 and 2 to include functionality and outcomes goals in Stage 3, prioritized to improve outcomes. For instance, patients not only would have online access to their health information--a functionality goal--but they also would understand their disease and treatment, and participate in shared decision making--an outcome goal.

The Stage 3 objectives also need to determine how to link Meaningful Use to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' initiatives and new payment models, the workgroup reported.

In addition, the workgroup is working on the "deeming pathway" for electronic clinical quality measures, which would allow high Meaningful Use attesters or much improved performers who have already met the objectives of Stage 1 and Stage 2 to attest for Meaningful Use by satisfying a subset of the Meaningful Use objectives.

Representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT also reported on the latest attestation statistics, as well as the progress vendors are making from the 2011 certification requirements to the 2014 certification requirements. The latter picture is not so rosy: of the 991 vendors that have a certified 2011 EHR product, only 56 (6 percent) also have a certified 2014 EHR product.

Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program is still slated to begin in 2014; Stage 3 is still on the calendar for 2016-2017. 

To learn more:
- here's the workgroup's presentation (.pdf)

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