Skip to Main Content

Stage 2

The CMS Stage 2 Final Rule from 2012 specifies the criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) must meet in order to participate in Stage 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. All providers must demonstrate Stage 1 of meaningful use before Stage 2.

To help providers better understand Stage 2 meaningful use requirements, CMS developed specification sheets for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that provide detailed information on each objective, including:

• Numerator and denominator thresholds
• Exclusion criteria
• Definitions of important terms
• Requirements for achieving the objectives
• Certification information that corresponds with each objective

Stage 2 Timeline

The earliest providers will demonstrate Stage 2 of meaningful use is 2014. Eligible hospitals and CAHs participate on the fiscal year and eligible professionals participate on the calendar year.

Providers who began participation in the EHR Incentive Programs in 2011 will meet three consecutive years of meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before advancing to the Stage 2 criteria in 2014. All other providers would meet two years of meaningful use under the Stage 1 criteria before advancing to the Stage 2 criteria in their third year.

Click here to View Your EHR participation Timeline

For 2014 Only

2014 CEHRT Flexibility
In May 2014, CMS released an NPRM that would grant flexibility to providers who are experiencing difficulties fully implementing 2014 Edition CEHRT to attest this year.

Providers scheduled to demonstrate Stage 2 of meaningful use in 2014 can:

  • Demonstrate 2013 Definition of Stage 1 of meaningful use with 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT
  • Demonstrate 2014 Definition of Stage 1 of meaningful use with 2014 Edition CEHRT
  • Demonstrate Stage 2 of meaningful use with 2014 Edition CEHRT

2014 Reporting Periods

All providers, regardless of their stage, are only required to demonstrate meaningful use for a 3-month EHR reporting period. For Medicare providers, this 3-month reporting period is fixed to the quarter of either the fiscal (for eligible hospitals and CAHs) or calendar (for eligible professionals).
The 3-month reporting period is not fixed for Medicaid eligible professionals and hospitals that are only eligible to receive Medicaid EHR incentives.

Stage 2 Core and Menu Objectives

Stage 2 uses a core and menu structure for objectives that providers must achieve in order to demonstrate meaningful use. Core objectives are objectives that all providers must meet. There are also a predetermined number of menu objectives that providers must select from a list and meet in order to demonstrate meaningful use.

To demonstrate meaningful use under Stage 2 criteria—

  • Eligible professionals must meet:
    • 17 core objectives
    • 3 menu objectives that they select from a total list of 6
    • Total of 20 objectives
  • Eligible hospitals and CAHs must meet:
    • 16 core objectives
    • 3 menu objectives that they select from a total list of 6
    • Total of 19 objectives

The Stage 2 Overview Tipsheet provides a complete list of the Stage 2 core and menu objectives for eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs.

Clinical Quality Measures

Eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs are required to report clinical quality measures (CQMs) during each year of participation in order to receive an incentive. Visit the Clinical Quality Measures Basics page to learn more about the options for CQM submission in 2014.

Stage 2 Resources

Stage 2 Overview and Measures

Stage 2 Regulations

Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) EHR Resources