CHIME takes case to CMS: 'streamline meaningful use'

'Hours of work and expertise are required to comply with these reporting demands'
By Mike Miliard
09:16 PM
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CHIME this week implored Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt to address the overreaches of meaningful use, arguing that "the current regulatory framework could stymie efforts to move to value-based reimbursement."

Replying to a request for information from CMS with regard to the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System and alternative payment models for physicians, CHIME makes the case for a couple of big IT policy changes as CMS pursues these new payment systems:

  • Creating parity for both eligible providers and hospitals by removing pass/fail for MU
  • Aligning quality reporting by eliminating duplicative measures that distract from patient care

Charles Christian, vice president of technology and engagement at Indiana Health Information Exchange and chair of CHIME's Board of Trustees, writes that CMS seems willing to "move away from the current pass/fail approach" in its RFI.

It's something that would welcomed by overburdened providers, he writes: "As you know, providers are required to meet multiple measures and objectives. With limited exception, failure to hit any of the regulatory thresholds is deemed a failure and puts the provider at risk of a financial penalties.

Instead, CHIME wants to enable EPs to work with a more flexible MU compliance model - one that deems physicians to be successful if they meet 75 percent or more of requirements. As for hospitals, "We also made the case for shifting eligible hospitals off of the existing all-or-nothing approach," he writes.

CHIME also asks CMS to reduce reporting burdens by scrapping redundant measures and data collection busywork.

"We pointed out that many CHIME members submit more than 20 reports across federal, state and private sector program for various clinical quality measures each month," writes Christian. "Hours of work and expertise are required to comply with these reporting demands and such burdens are exacerbated by a lack of technical harmonization. The goal, our letter stated, should be to eliminate duplicative quality measures and reporting requirements."

"CHIME appreciates CMS' intention to further harmonize measures across the various reporting programs," according to the letter, which was signed by Christian and CHIME CEO Russell Branzell. "Providers continue to be incredibly challenged in meeting quality reporting requirements. Since the future of value-based reimbursement is contingent upon the ability to measure performance and outcomes, we believe a unified strategy for capturing and communicating quality in healthcare is needed."

Read it here.

See also:
CIOs share meaningful use concerns at CHIME
The path forward for meaningful use