On February 24, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an advance copy of the highly anticipated proposed rule* setting forth the Stage 2 requirements for the meaningful use electronic health record (“EHR”) incentive programs (the “Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule specifies the criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and/or Medicaid Stage 2 EHR incentive payments.

Additionally, the Proposed Rule details payment adjustments under Medicare for covered professional services and hospital services provided by eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals failing to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The Proposed Rule also revises certain Stage 1 criteria as finalized in the meaningful use final rule issued by CMS in July, 2010 (see Bricker & Eckler LLP August 2010 Bulletin analyzing Stage 1 requirements).

The Proposed Rule will be published in the Federal Register March 7, 2012. Bricker & Eckler will be distributing a more detailed review and analysis of the Proposed Rule shortly.