Groups Urge CMS To Finalize Meaningful Use Modifications

A group of health IT industry stakeholders sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell calling on CMS to quickly finalize proposed meaningful use modifications for 2015 through 2017, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 8/3).

Background

Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

In April, CMS released a proposed rule that would shorten Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use attestation for eligible professionals and hospitals to a 90-day period in 2015.

In addition, the proposed rule would:

  • Realign the reporting period starting in 2015 to allow hospitals to participate on the calendar year instead of the current fiscal year period;
  • Reduce the number of meaningful use objectives to improve advanced use of EHRs; and
  • Remove redundant measures and those that have become widely adopted.

In addition, the proposed rule would change Stage 2 meaningful use requirements related to patient engagement (iHealthBeat, 6/16).

Letter Details

The letter was signed by 18 organizations, including:

  • Allscripts;
  • The American Medical Informatics Association;
  • Cerner;
  • The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives;
  • GE Healthcare;
  • Greenway Health;
  • The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; and
  • The Medical Group Management Association (Health Data Management, 8/3).

According to Politico's "Morning eHealth," the letter resulted from a meeting of government affairs officials following a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on July 23.

The groups noted that, Oct. 3 is the last chance to start a 90-day reporting period in 2015 and that "if providers do not receive the final rule shortly, it will be very difficult to make workflow adjustments in a timely manner to meet programmatic deadlines and facilitate meaningful use tracking and reporting" (Pittman, "Morning eHealth," Politico, 8/3).

They added that while the industry largely supports CMS' effort to simplify the program, "providers and technology developers need to have the certainty now that comes with a final rule in order to be able to meet the reporting deadlines for 2015 and continue participation in the program" (Health Data Management, 8/3).

Source: iHealthBeat, Monday, August 3, 2015

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