The Final Rule for Meaningful Use was published today.
I haven't finished reading the 1000 pages, yet, so here are my preliminary impressions.
The document is available here..
They relaxed a couple of requirements, with thresholds being reduced from 80% to 50%. I don't see this as significant, because if your organization is really committed to meeting the requirements, you will be well over 80%. If you are committed to CPOE, you will be at well over 80%. If reducing the limit means that a few more organizations qualify for MU funds, that's fine with me.
They also removed the requirement for either SOAP or REST to be used as a transport protocol, which means that those organizations that use MLLP through encrypted tunnels will not have to re-do those interfaces.
I am still a little troubled by the requirement to use CCR and CCD, but since that means that my organization can produce CCD and the other CDA based documents, we should be fine. We will have to be able to consume CCR, but that is not as onerous as it might be. HL7 and ASTM are beginning a project to translate from CCR to CCD, so that should help organizations that do not want to have to support both.
It could have been better. It could have been worse.