News Feature | April 6, 2015

HIMSS Provides MU Stage 3 Introduction

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Meaningful Use And IT VARs

HIMSS is offering resources to address Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 3 concerns, including a webinar series and an executive summary covering the next stage in the MU incentive program.


The webinar series that is under way is designed to aid members of the health IT community to familiarize themselves with the information around the most recent Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It was broken into three sessions and involved the following learning objectives:

  • discussing how the CMS NPRM specifies MU Stage 3 criteria and thereby supports efforts to make the program simpler and more flexible, all while moving toward interoperability and improving patient outcomes
  • identifying the ways in which the proposed rule aligns with plans to achieve interoperability through building on past adopted health IT certification criteria
  • hearing the most important questions from the health IT community

The final webinar session will be held on Wednesday, April 8, and is titled, “Meaningful Use Stage 3 Patient Engagement: An Executive Overview of the Proposed Rule.”

More information on previous sessions is available here.

Executive Summary

For IT solutions providers only looking to learn more about the rule itself, HIMSS has also provided an executive summary.

The rule contains major themes, all of which are geared toward simplifying the program and making it more flexible and better suited toward achieving interoperability goals and better patient outcomes. Those themes are:

  • the continuation of electronic submission of clinical quality measure (CQM) encouragement for all providers that can
  • the requirement of e-submission of CQMs where possible in 2018
  • the establishment of requirements to move the program to a single stage for MU
  • the shift to an EHR reporting period so that all providers would have a full calendar year’s timeline to report, with the exception of first-time demonstrators of MU.

Stage 3 takes on a slightly different format than the previous two stages, which HIMSS sums up here:

“Stage 3 is expected to be the final stage of Meaningful Use. Certain parts of Stages 1 and 2 will be incorporated into this stage. Under the proposed rule, all providers would be reporting at the Stage 3 level by 2018 regardless of their progress in previous levels. The proposed rules allow providers to choose whether or not to attest to the new Stage 3 objectives and measures in 2017, but all providers would report on a calendar year starting in 2017. There is an exception for this and several other provisions in the proposed rules for Medicaid providers in their first year demonstrating Meaningful Use. The NPRM is noteworthy in that generally, EPs [eligible providers], eligible hospitals and CAHs [critical access hospitals] have aligned objectives and timelines.”