Stage 2 of the electronic health record incentive payment program requires providers to electronically exchange healthcare records with each other to improve the interoperability of CMS' value-based payment programs. Eligible hospitals must commence 90 consecutive days of meeting the meaningful-use criteria on schedule. The starting date for most hospitals was October 1, 2013. However eligible professionals and physicians which operate on a fiscal year must begin compliance on April 1 or July 1, 2014.
CMS will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis for providers and health IT vendors to obtain a "hardship exemption" that will extend the deadline for that facility. Tavenner does not expect the exemptions to delay full Stage 2 implementation by 2015.