Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of CMS, said the decision is to allow time to assess how the existing requirements are rolling out. The decision came after CMS published a set of preliminary recommendations for Stage 3 in November and requested comments.
Prior to the decision, The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania submitted a 29-page request that CMS delay the rulemaking pending assessment.
Among other things, the HAP letter said electronic health records have occasioned "dramatic increases in IT expenditures between 2009 and 2011 that are simply not sustainable given our fiscal realities."
On average, HAP said, hospitals estimate that Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentives will offset only 10 to 15 percent of the total cost of adoption.