The Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU) “Final Rules” published in the Federal Register on September 4, 2012, required local and state Public Health Agencies (PHAs) to ramp-up their MU capabilities and establish new processes to receive the relevant MU-compliant public health data from eligible providers, prior to the start of Stage 2 MU (10/01/2013 for EHs and 01/01/2014 for EPs). In Stage 2 MU, the capability to submit electronic data for immunizations is in the core or mandatory set for Eligible Professionals (EPs) and the capability to submit electronic data for immunizations, reportable laboratory results, and syndromic surveillance is in the core set for Eligible Hospitals (EHs). In addition, two new public health objectives for EPs have been added to the menu or options set – the capability to report cancer cases to a cancer registry and specific cases to a specialized registry (e.g., birth defects registries, chronic disease registries, traumatic injury registries). PHAs preparing for Stage 2 MU will require guidance to implement the new objectives and processes, such as:
- Contributing their PHA’s MU capacity information to the proposed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) centralized PHA capacity repository (declaration process),
- Supporting providers (EPs and EHs) for registration of their intent to submit data for a MU objective,
- On-boarding and accepting ongoing data submission from providers; and,
- Providing an acknowledgement or a written communication (which may be in electronic format) from the PHA confirming a provider’s registration and achievement of ongoing submission.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has facilitated the establishment of the Stage 2 MU Public Health Reporting Requirements Task Force with representatives from the public health community; including: NACCHO, ASTHO, JPHIT, ISDS, CSTE, PHII, NAACCR, State PHAs, AIRA, ONC, CDC, and others. This task force is currently working to frame deliverables that will identify key concepts, task flows and guidance for PHAs to implement the Public Health objectives and associated new business processes required for Stage 2 MU. The task force has already provided recommendations and requirements to CMS for the establishment of the centralized PHA capacity repository which will provide EPs and EHs information on jurisdictional capacity to accept electronic data for Stage 2 MU public health objectives. The task force is developing guidance for PHAs to facilitate the registration of intent by providers, on-boarding and ongoing submission, and the ability to provide acknowledgements to providers. The task force is also developing guidance related to transport protocols for the electronic submission of meaningful use data to PHAs. The task force has created a specialized registry work group to provide guidance on how public health agencies can leverage the specialized registry meaningful use objective to obtain case information on mandated public health reporting information such as birth defects, traumatic injuries, hearing and vision and other public health surveillance information.
The consensus guidance and recommendations developed by this collaborative Public Health task force, currently scheduled to be available by April 2013, will be shared widely with state and local PHAs. PHAs across the nation will be able to adopt this guidance according to their jurisdictional needs to implement the new objectives and processes required for Stage 2 MU. For more information on this task force please visit http://www.phconnect.org/group/ph-reporting-task-force, and if interested in providing meaningful contributions to this work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org