Timing of the Release of CMS’ Meaningful Use Stage 3 Proposed Rule Suspect

Seems all the chittering was right: The meaningful use Stage 3 proposed rule has been released prior to the annual HIMSS conference, to give all conference goers and government officials in attendance something to talk about.

The news of the rule’s release now comes as no surprise.

The feds like to make these kinds of splashes, to be the bearers of news – any kind of news – especially at big venues where they’re likely to get lots of ink and face time with those in attendance, and the supposed powers that be.

The same thing happened last year at HIMSS when officials, peppered with questions, were vehement that the ICD-10 roll out deadline would not be delayed. Only a few weeks later, federal officials had to walk that back and, untimely, wound up changing the deadline.

These are apples and oranges, I understand, but the grandiosity of the occasion (HIMSS15) means that everyone attending the conference really does need to “bring it.” Vendors, presenters, the feds. At HIMSS, to capture hearts and minds, this is a simple truth — we need to bring it no matter who “we” are.

I’m not trying to be cynical about the announcement or the timing of the proposed Stage 3 rule, but there seems to be something about the nature of its timing that seems suspect. It’s as if CMS wants the news about meaningful use to be relevant. But, as we know, on its own, it is relevant; we all know this.

It’s as if CMS is trying to secure the legacy of a failing program – where as of January 0nly 4 percent of eligible professionals had met meet Stage 2 requirements. It’s sort of like the agency, to make people talk about a once relevant product, is bursting through the HIMSS gates like a has-been celebrity and is announcing, “Don’t worry, we’ll be there.”

How could we forget?

We know you’ll be there, we know we’ll be looking to you for guidance, we know what you have to say is important to us because it impacts the very professions in which we have built our lives.

CMS will make their claims, get us to talk then they’ll ride off into the sunset like Shane.

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