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The HIT Policy Committee met earlier this month to continue its discussion of “meaningful use.”  The Committee outlined its phased approach in a detailed matrix, describing the necessary goals and measures between 2011-2015.  Responding to feedback from public comments related to timing, the HIT Policy Committee reiterated that the 2011 goal is only 18 months away, but that those hospitals that can show “meaningful use” by 2012 are still eligible for the full amount of incentive payments.  Through the phased approach, those hospitals that cannot meet the “meaningful use” standards by 2012 would then have to qualify for the higher standards imposed in 2013.  However, in response to public comments, the work group now recommends the use of an “adoption year” timeframe, meaning that 2011 measures apply to the first adoption year, the 2012 measures apply to the second adoption year, and so forth. 

Another notable update from the Committee’s meeting on July 16, 2009, relates to Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE).  Originally, CPOE was required for all order types by 2011 for both hospitals and eligible providers.  The revised matrix modifies the requirement for hospitals to only 10% of all order types.  Eligible providers must still show CPOE usage for all order types by 2011. 

The HIT Policy Committee published a presentation outlining additional updates.The changes are easier to see by comparing the updated July 16th matrix with the June 16th matrix

When complete, the HIT Policy Committee recommendations must be approved by the National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal, MD before they are delivered to CMS as part of the rule making process.  The initial set of standards will be published no later than December 31, 2009.