The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released the final requirements for stage 2 "meaningful use" of electronic health records (EHRs). Among the rules announced, Stage 2 (which will begin as early as 2014) will require physicians to use secure electronic messaging to communicate health information to patients, as well as to allow patients to view health records online. It also modifies the definition of "hospital-based" physicians to create an application process for physicians to demonstrate that they alone fund their EHR systems and are eligible to receive the incentive payments directly. The final rule also provides a more flexible reporting period for 2014, and lays out the timeline physicians will have to follow in order to avoid payment reductions in 2015. Under the final rule, physicians must demonstrate meaningful use for 90 consecutive days by July 1, 2014, or else will be subjected to a 1 percent reduction in Medicare payments beginning in 2015. CMA is currently reviewing the final rule and will provide additional information as it becomes available.