CMS issues draft definition for "meaningful use" for EHR's

CMS issues draft definition for "meaningful use" for EHR's

Robert S. Miller, MD, FACP, FASCO

@rsm2800
Dec 31, 2009

Many of you have been following this, but, today, one day shy of the 12/31/09 deadline, CMS issued its long-awaited proposed rule governing the incentive program for EHR's under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), most importantly putting forth the definition of "meaningful use" for EHR's - what the EHR and user must be able to "do" to qualify for the Federal incentive dollars. In addition, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued an interim final rule specifying the standards and technical specifications for certifying EHR's. The press release from CMS and ONC can be found here. If you want to read the entire 550+ page proposed rule on meaningful use, the pdf is here (skip to Table 2 on page 103 for a quick overview), and the ONC interim final rule on standards is here (also a pdf). Here is a blog post from today from Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which puts these regulations in perspective, and the blog HIStalk has an unofficial summary of the meaningful use criteria here.

There is a public comment period for both of these proposed regulations, and no doubt the public discussions will be hot and heavy over the next few weeks. ASCO will be taking a look at these documents in detail, and I expect we will have some comments from an oncology perspective. We welcome input from all stakeholders.

Bob Miller

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