The final rule for Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) was released in late August 2012. There are actually two rules, one from ONC (what vendors need to do to certify) and CMS (what providers need to do to achieve Meaningful Use). The latter is what you will need to follow in order to continue receiving incentives under the EHR Incentive Programs.

Who is eligible for MU2? Can I go straight to Stage 2 without passing through Stage 1?

  • The definition for Eligible Professionals (EPs) and Eligible Hospitals (EHs), including Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), has not changed. See CMS for the complete definition.
  • You always start by successfully attesting to Stage 1 for two reporting years before you move onto Stage 2

What makes Meaningful Use Stage 2 different?

  • In a nutshell, MU2 has the same number of required measures (20), but it’s more difficult.
  • More core, mandatory measures (17 instead of 15)
  • The still-relevant core measures from Stage 1 will have increased compliance thresholds
  • Most menu (optional) measures will become core
  • There are fewer menu measures to choose from (3 of 6, instead of 5 of 10)
  • Some “low hanging fruit” measures (e.g., problems/meds lists, etc.) were absorbed into other measures or eliminated, so the 17 MU2 core measures have bigger teeth
  • The biggest hurdles may be the increased difficulty of patient engagement and health information exchange requirements under Stage 2

Where can I learn more?

  •  The official source is CMS. They have webinars, FAQs, overviews and the full regulations on their site
  • Get product-specific information from your vendor on how to upgrade to their MU2 version.
  • Your vendor should be providing you with resources, such as: articles, white papers, FAQs, training, and webinars

When does Meaningful Use Stage 2 start?

  • It depends on when you started. If your first year of attesting as a Meaningful User was in 2011 or 2012, you will be at Stage 2 for two years, starting in 2014. If your first year as a Meaningful User is 2013, then your first year at Stage 2 will not be until 2015.

How do I get ready for Meaningful Use?

  • Learn the regulations and plan in advance
  • Make sure your vendor has a plan for MU2
  •  Once released by your vendor, upgrade as soon as you can to the “MU 2 version” of your EHR  software (the official name of the ONC certification is the “2014 Edition” )

To learn more about Meaningful Use, check out our MU ebook- Now or Never.

Why choose NextGen Healthcare?

  • Proven track record—thousands of providers have successfully attested for over $150 million in EHR incentive payments using the certified NextGen® solution for Meaningful Use
  • Comprehensive resources—NextGen Healthcare provides the certified products, outstanding support, tools, education, and training your organization needs to successfully achieve Meaningful Use
  • Outstanding clinical content—Our specialty and primary care content allows you to meet your specific demands, while achieving MU
  • Advanced analytics tools—Our tools allow you to easily report for Meaningful Use, while at the same time measuring clinical and financial outcomes within your organization

NextGen Healthcare understands that MU is only a gateway to meeting the demands of a rapidly changing healthcare ecosystem. Our solutions are evolving to help you successfully adapt to a variety of collaborative care and value-based reimbursement models.

By achieving Meaningful Use using NextGen solutions, you can:

  • Identify and fill gaps in care across the patient population
  • Improve the patient experience inside and outside of the practice
  • Achieve greater operational efficiency
  • Earn up to $63,000 in EHR incentive payments

NextGen Healthcare clients are among the most successful providers when it comes to Meaningful Use. We are building on the successes of Stage 1 and delivering solutions to help clients clear the bar under Stage 2—and beyond. At the same time, as a NextGen® client, you will be getting what you need to meet the increased challenges brought about by healthcare reform, which more than ever means improved outcomes for patients and greater operational efficiency for your organization.