Proposed Meaningful Use Stage 2 Rules… What’s New?

Some Information From Practice Fusion, HealthAffairs and HITECH Answers

Previously, Stage 1 Meaningful Use consisted of 15 core items, and 5-of-10 menu items, for a total of 20 items that an Eligible Professional (EP) needed to achieve in order to demonstrate meaningful use and receive an incentive payment.


The proposed Stage 2 Meaningful Use measures have been published (CMS proposed rules, ONC proposed rules), and are open for public commentary until May. CMS has combined some of the prior measures, added some new ones, and upped the threshold for several of the retained Stage 1 items. The proposal for Stage 2 results in 17 core items, and 3-of-5 menu items, for the same total of 20 items that EPs must achieve to meat Stage 2 meaningful use beginning in 2014.

Practice Fusion has put together a very helpful at-a-glance grid (above) to help summarize the newly proposed Stage 2 Meaningful Use measures and HealthAffairs has created a simple one-page view of the standards and metrics.

  • 13 of Stage 1 objectives have increased threshold percentages or updated requirements
  • 7 of Stage 1 objectives are combined or modified with other objectives
  • 2 Stage 1 objectives are eliminated
  • 7 Stage 1 menu objectives have moved to be core objectives in Stage 2
  • There is 1 new core objective and 4 new menu objectives in Stage 2

If your Health Center started the Meaningful Use process in 2011 or will start in 2012 you will not experience any changes in Stage 1 guidelines. However, the current proposals include some minor modifications to Stage 1 criteria for those beginning in 2013 and subsequent years.

In addition, the proposed rules include a set of clinical quality measures (CQMs) beginning in 2014 that align with existing quality programs such as measures used for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and National Council for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for medical home accreditation, as well as those proposed under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) and under ACA Section 2701. Eligible Professionals will be asked to report 12 CQMs and the proposed rule outlines a process by which EPs beyond their first year of Stage 1 participation could submit CQM data electronically.

Additional information on Meaningful Use is available on the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website, the HRSA Health IT website and


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