WASHINGTON – The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is expected to call for public comment on a draft of Stage 3 meaningful use requirements this month, according to leaders of ONC’s HIT Policy Committee.

At the Oct. 3 HIT Policy Committee meeting, the meaningful use workgroup presented preliminary recommendations for Stage 3 to the committee. Final Stage 3 meaningful use requirements are expected to become effective in 2016.

According to Paul Tang, chair of the meaningful use workgroup, the guiding principles used by the workgroup for the development of any meaningful use Stage 3 requirement is that it:

  • Supports new models of care that are team-based, outcomes-oriented, population management-oriented;
  • Addresses national health priorities with broad applicability and including priorities for provider specialties and regions of the country;
  • Promotes advancement of population health beyond what is already driven by market forces;
  • Is achievable and a mature set of standards widely adopted or could be widely adopted by 2016;
  • Includes a reasonableness/feasibility of products or organizational capacity.

Tang also said the workgroup would like to have standards available, even if they are not yet widely adopted. “We don’t want standards to be an excuse for not moving forward,” he said.

The HIT Policy Committee has presented a timeline for the development of Stage 3, which includes a November release of a request for comment (RFC), and:

  • Dec. 21, 2012 – RFC deadline
  • January 2013 – ONC to synthesize the RFC comments for HIT Policy committee workgroups to review
  • February 2013 – The workgroups will reconcile RFC comments
  • March 2013 – The workgroups will present a revised draft of Stage 3 requirements to ONC
  • April 2013 – ONC is expected to approve final Stage 3 recommendations
  • May 2013 – ONC will transmit final Stage 3 recommendations to HHS

A grid of the Stage 3 proposal drafted by the meaningful use workgroup can be found here.

For more information about this article, click here.