Meaningful Use Stage 2 Arrives!

Date:  August 28

Time:  8:02am

Location:  Grand Central Station, Starbucks

There has been a lot of news in the last couple of weeks—and the pace seems to continue to increase!

As many of you know, the New York State Department of Health has applied for a $10B waiver from Medicaid that will fund many of the projects which continue the transformation of New York’s healthcare payment and delivery systems, as outlined by the Medicaid Redesign Team. This is a very important request for the New York healthcare system and health IT. The SHIN-NY and NYeC are prominent elements in helping the MRT programs succeed. Stay tuned for more on this . . . but, if you would like to read the full 152-page application . . . NY State Medicaid Redesign Waiver Amendment.

On the heels of that large body of work, the Office of the National Coordinator released the long anticipated Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rules! While we may go back and forth on what they got right and what they got wrong, I believe everyone will agree that the Meaningful Use program represents the single most significant opportunity to provide the healthcare system with the tools needed to improve efficiency, measure and improve quality, engage patients, and enable new care models. And the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rules raise the bar in several key areas, including greater interoperability and patient engagement, among others.

Recently, Dr. Farzad Mostashari gave a webcast on the new rule; here is an excerpt:

“We continue to believe that making vendor-to-vendor standards-based exchange attainable for all meaningful EHR users is of paramount importance. In that regard, and as we look toward meaningful use Stage 3, we will monitor the ease with which EPs [eligible professionals], eligible hospitals, and CAHs [critical access hospitals] engage in electronic exchange, especially across different vendors EHRs.”

“If we do not see sufficient progress or that continued impediments exist such that our policy goals for standards-based exchange are not being met, we will revisit these more specific measurement limitations and consider other policies to strengthen the interoperability requirements. . .”  Mostashari went on to emphasize, “I want there to be no question about the seriousness of our intent on this issue. [The] bottom line is it’s what’s right for the patient and it’s what we have to do as a country to get to better healthcare and lower costs.”

NYeC has been working on four significant programs that were developed to address this aspect of the health IT ecosystem: the NYeC Regional Extension Center, the InterOperability Workgroup, the SHIN-NY Direct Service, and the SHIN-NY EHR Certification Program. In the coming days, I’ll walk through each of these programs and describe how they work together to support patient record exchange in New York.