CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) jointly issued a Proposed Rule on May 21, 2014 that would grant eligible providers flexibility in what edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) providers may use to attest as Meaningful Users under the 2014 Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.  Comments on the Proposed Rule are due July 21, 2014. 

The Proposed Rule is intended to grant flexibility to eligible providers that have not been able to “fully implement 2014 Edition CEHRT” due to delays in the availability of such CEHRT as they begin to attest as Meaningful Users for the 2014 reporting period.  Among other options, eligible providers scheduled to attest to Stage 2 criteria may continue to use their 2011 Edition CEHRT and once again attest to satisfying Stage 1 Meaningful Use measures.  CMS and ONC also propose to extend the Stage 2 Meaningful Use Criteria through the 2016 reporting period. 

The proposed flexibility will apply to eligible providers scheduled to attest to satisfying the Stage 1 or Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria in 2014.  The Proposed Rule includes the following chart listing the attestation options eligible providers would have, with various combinations of CEHRT editions and Meaningful Use criteria.  Indeed, under one proposed option, providers may use both their 2011 Edition and 2014 Edition CEHRT in combination to satisfy either the Stage 1 or Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria:

Click here to view table.

The Proposed Rule does not define what it means for a provider to “fully implement” 2014 Edition CEHRT, or what constitutes a lack of availability of such CEHRT.  The Proposed Rule is available here .