(HealthDay News) — New electronic health record (EHR) regulations modify Stage 2 of the meaningful use program and finalize requirements for Stage 3, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Noting that more than 1,300 pages of new regulations were released in October, with several changes applying this year, the report summarizes some of the most important changes.

According to the report, the regulations fall under two new rules: one that modifies Stage 2 of the meaningful use program and finalizes Stage 3 requirements and one that establishes technological parameters for EHR technology. The rule relating to Stage 2 gives physicians a shortened reporting period for 2015, reduces the overall number of measures that physicians must report, and reduces various thresholds. The regulations now require a public health and clinical data registry reporting objective. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated that physicians who are unable to meet meaningful use requirements as a result of the delayed publication of these regulations can apply for a hardship exemption. The new rule also requires physicians to meet Stage 3 requirements beginning in 2018. As currently written, the finalized rule will be extremely burdensome for physicians, according to the AMA.

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“The AMA is intensifying its efforts to engage lawmakers and other stakeholders to reset the direction of the meaningful use program,” the authors write.

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