Stage 1 and 2 Terminology

Hello again!

As the implications of the CMS Stage 2 final rule continue to unfold, more questions inevitably arise. One of these questions involves the status of “credentialed medical assistants” in the computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system with regard to Stages 1 and 2. The CMS website addresses this very question:

Q: Does the inclusion of [credentialed medical assistants] in the list of professionals who can enter orders into the EHR using CPOE and have them count in the numerator of the CPOE measure apply to Stage 1 as well as Stage 2?

A: We have revised the description of who can enter orders into the EHR and have it count as CPOE and have it count for purposes of the CPOE measure. This revision is available for EHR reporting periods in 2013 and beyond regardless of what stage of meaningful use the provider is attesting to.

I will continue to keep you updated as more questions are raised—and answered—in the wake of this important ruling.


About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, chief executive officer and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
This entry was posted in Certification and the CMA (AAMA) Credential, Scope of Practice, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Stage 1 and 2 Terminology

  1. Patty says:

    Does this vary state to state for the new Stage 2 CPOE rule? Is it up to the state’s regulations?

    • Thank you for your question. I am happy to respond.

      Federal regulations impacting medical assisting are usually subject to state laws pertaining to medical assistants. However, I am not aware of any statutes or regulations in any American jurisdiction that limit what physicians are permitted to delegate to medical assistants in regard to entering orders–at the physician’s specific direction and approval–into electronic health/medical records. Therefore, my response to your question is that the entry of medication, laboratory, and radiology orders into the computerized provider order entry (CPOE) system at the direction of a licensed provider for purposes of calculating meaningful use under Stages 1 and 2 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program is not effected by state law.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA
      Executive Director, Legal Counsel

      American Association of Medical Assistants
      Ph: 800/228-2262 | Fax: 312/899-1259 |

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      The CMA (AAMA): Health Care’s Most Versatile Professional

  2. Nancy says:

    Still am unclear on how an CMA should place ORDERS. Nurses cannot even do that.

    • Medical assistants are only permitted to enter orders as specifically directed reviewed and approved by the overseeing provider. Medical assistants are not permitted to enter orders without provider approval. Sent from my iPhone

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