CMS Proposal Seeks to Streamline EHR Incentive Programs

On Friday, April 10, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs standardizing the 2015 meaningful use reporting period from one year to 90 days among other changes.

CMS’ goal is to allow providers to “focus more closely on the advanced use of certified EHR technology to support health information exchange and quality improvement.”

Together with the Stage 3 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued on March 20, 2015, the rules align and merge the “stages” of meaningful use requirements.

The proposed rule changes the programs by:

  • Streamlining reporting by removing redundant, duplicative, and topped-out measures
  • Modifying patient action measures in Stage 2 objectives related to patient engagement
  • Aligning the EHR reporting period for eligible hospitals and CAHs with the full calendar year
  • Changing the EHR reporting period in 2015 to a 90-day period to accommodate modifications

The proposed changes are subject to a 60-day comment period. A final rule will be drafted after that and could be issued this summer.

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Director of Practice Improvement Terri Gonzalez regularly consults with practices to help them meet meaningful use and receive their incentive payments. Contact Gonzalez via email or by phone at 919-833-3836 x123.

The new proposed rule may be viewed online. A fact sheet about the NPRM is also available. More information on the comment period for this proposed rule will be available soon.

For more about meaningful use, visit the CMS EHR Incentive Programs website.

 
 

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