CMS announces 2017 hospital payment adjustments for EHR Incentive Program
Those hospitals still not meaningfully using certified electronic health record technology will be subject to a payment adjustment starting Oct. 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Friday.
The adjustment takes the form of a reduced applicable increase to their Inpatient Prospective Payment System rate, according to CMS. It's tied to the reporting period of specific fiscal years.
The good news is that 98 percent of eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals nationwide have by now successfully demonstrated either Stage 1 or Stage 2 meaningful use.
For those that still haven't, hospital payment adjustments by reporting year are as follows: a 25 percent decrease for 2015 (2013 reporting period); a 50 percent decrease for 2016 (2014 reporting period); a 75 percent decrease for 2017 and beyond (2015 reporting period).
CMS does offer hardship exceptions for hospitals not demonstrating meaningful use, each granted on a case-by-case basis.
Reasons may include 2014 EHR vendor issues (either a technology provider wasn't able to gain 2014 certification or the hospital was unable to attest to MU due to certification delays); infrastructure (hospitals must show they're in an area without sufficient internet access or broadband); unforeseen circumstances (a natural disaster or other unforeseeable barrier); or recent eligibility (EHs with new CMS Certification Numbers can apply for an exception for one full cost reporting period).