Shocker: ONC Goes Back to Drawing Board to Define "Meaningful Use"

After  a "lively discussion [on the criteria] and considerable input on meaningful use, we decided to send the workgroup back to work on another set," David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, said during a media call.

The policy committee expects to receive a new set of recommendations from its workgroup at its July 16 meeting, Blumenthal told reporters on the conference call.

The policy committee still may  not be satisfied at the July 16 meeting, Blumenthal said.  He declined to say how long he thought it might take. He was not sure whether the committee would offer an additional comment period following the workgroup's proposed revision of meaningful use criteria.

The ONC policy committee recommendations on meaningful use will not be binding, Blumenthal said. The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services will be the final word on meaningful use and how it applies to incentives for physicians and hospitals using healthcare IT under the Medicare and Medicaid program.

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