On November 30, 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that eligible providers that satisfy the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentives Program Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria in 2011 may wait until 2014 to comply with CMS's Stage 2 criteria.  CMS originally required providers that satisfied Stage 1 in 2011 to comply with Stage 2 by 2013.

In a fact sheet issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), providers that attest to Stage 1 criteria in 2011 will still receive an incentive payment in the 2012 payment year.  Providers have until February 28, 2012 to submit their 2011 attestations.  The fact sheet states that CMS will publish proposed Stage 2 criteria by February 2012, with implementation of final Stage 2 measures in 2013.  The extension for early adopters will appear in that notice of proposed rulemaking.

Secretary Sebelius's announcement is available by clicking here, and ONC's fact sheet is available by clicking here.