When can we expect details of “meaningful use”?

The federal government might publish criteria for the definition of “meaningful use” of electronic health records by June 16, according to the HIMSS Electronic Health Record Association. (Check out http://www.himms.org)

The Medicare and Medicaid financial incentives mandated under the federal stimulus package require “meaningful use” of certified EHRs. As yet we still do not know what this phrase really entails. Hopefully the picture will become clearer very soon.

The publication of meaningful use criteria could be followed by a brief public comment period while the federal government undergoes the rules-development process.

It is unclear when the final rule will be released, but industry stakeholders expect the rule on meaningful use by late summer or early fall, according to Justin Barnes, chair of the HIMSS EHR Association and vice president of marketing and government affairs for physician software vendor Greenway Medical Technologies.

The federal stimulus package requires publication of a final rule on meaningful use by the end of 2009.

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