breakingnewsOn Friday, December 6th CMS and the Office of National Coordinator proposed a new meaningful use timeline that will allow providers to focus on the successful implementation of Stage 2 and use data from this interoperability and patient engagement stage to inform policy decisions for Stage 3.

 Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those who have completed at least two years in Stage 2. Additionally, ONC proposed an approach for certification that allows ample time for developers to create and distribute certified EHR technology before Stage 3 begins.

Please note: This announcement from CMS does NOT impact the 2014 requirements for participating in Meaningful Use to avoid payment penalties in 2015. 

Medicare or Medicaid providers who have already attested for Meaningful Use Stage 1 should continue participating to avoid future penalties. If 2014 is your third or fourth year, you will still be expected to start Stage 2 requirements in 2014. If you haven’t started but plan to in 2014, October 1, 2014 is still the attestation deadline for avoiding the 2015 payment penalty.

To recap, this change only affects 2016 Meaningful Use requirements and your 2014 plans will not be affected. Make sure you are prepared to meet your 2014 Meaningful Use criteria regardless of where you are in the Meaningful Use program.

 We would like to remind you that we remain available to support your meaningful use goals – even after the federal funding for the REC program ends. For Kentucky REC assistance, please call 859-323-3090 or email us at

For more information, read the CMS blog and visit the EHR Incentive Programs website.