AMA, MGMA, other medical groups urge CMS to finalize 90-day meaningful use reporting for 2016

While a 90-day period was finalized for 2015, many providers had to depend instead on hardship exemptions, the groups tell acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt.
By Henry Powderly
02:50 PM
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Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt

More than a dozen medical groups including the American Medical Association, Medical Group Management Association, American College of Surgeons and others, have sent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on August 22 imploring it to quickly make the proposed 90-day reporting period a final rule.

"The start of the final 90-day reporting period in calendar year 2016 is rapidly-approaching, and to ensure that eligible professionals and eligible hospitals are able to take advantage of the flexibility associated with the shortened reporting period, the policy must be finalized as expeditiously as possible," the groups wrote.

Though CMS finalized a 90-day period for 2015, many providers were not able to take advantage of that flexibility and instead had to rely on hardship exemptions to avoid penalties.

[Also: Lawmakers propose 90-day meaningful use reporting period for 2016]

Meanwhile, July's proposed outpatient prospective payment rule already set the 90-day period for reporting meaningful use of electronic health records, a request that medical professionals have long made to CMS.

"Finalizing the 90-day reporting period as quickly as possible will reduce the number of providers who must rely on a hardship exemption in 2016 and if the finalization of the policy is similarly delayed, CMS must be prepared to provide hardship exemptions as was done in 2015," they said.

[Also: AHA tells CMS chief Slavitt how MACRA will impact docs, hospitals]

The letter was signed by the American Academy of Asthma Allergy and Immunology, American Academy of Dermatology Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Cardiology, American College of Rheumatology, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, American Medical Informatics Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Cardiology Advocacy Alliance, Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, Federation of American Hospitals, Heart Rhythm Society, Medical Group Management Association, National Association of Community Health Centers, North American Spine Society and United Surgical Partners International.

Twitter: @HenryPowderly
Contact the author: henry.powderly@himssmedia.com