On March 20, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the highly anticipated Stage 3 Meaningful Use Proposed Rule. As expected, the Stage 3 Proposed Rule includes new criteria that providers, including eligible professionals (including physicians), eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet to qualify for electronic health record incentive payments and to avoid payment adjustments.

Overall, CMS believes the Proposed Rule attempts to give providers more flexibility and to simplify requirements for providers by focusing on advanced use of electronic health records (EHRs) and dropping requirements that already have widespread adoption or are no longer relevant.