CMS calls for 90-day reporting in 2016 and easing meaningful use Stage 3 EHR objectives

By Bernie Monegain
10:21 AM
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services urges Congress to institute more flexibility for quality reporting and eliminate clinical decision support and computerized provider order entry measures for eligible hospitals.
CMS EHR CPOE quality reporting

Following months of pressure from healthcare providers and EHR vendors  to adjust the meaningful use reporting from a full year to a 90-day period, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Wednesday joined the chorus.

CMS is now calling for clinicians, hospitals, and critical access hospitals to use a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016 – down from a full calendar year for returning participants in the government’s EHR Incentive Program.

“This increases flexibility and lowers the reporting burden for hospital providers,” CMS stated. 

CMS also proposed lowering the bar for achieving Stage 3 objectives and eliminating the Clinical Decision Support and Computerized Provider Order Entry objectives and measures for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals. 

[Also: CIOs tell ONC: It's time to let the EHR market innovate to drive interoperability]

Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt also noted CMS’ proposal to add new quality measures to the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program and the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program that are focused on improving patient outcomes and experience of care.

CHIME, which represents more than 1,500 CIOs and other healthcare IT professionals has been lobbying for the change.

“We are pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services today recommended a 90-day reporting period in 2016 for hospitals in the Meaningful Use program,” the organization said in a statement posted on its website.

“Shortening the reporting period to 90-days from the current 365 days will allow hospitals and health systems to continue making progress in adopting technology systems that support new payment and care delivery models,” CHIME said.

The Premier alliance applauded CMS in a statement for encouraging the 90-day reporting period.

“This recognizes the significant time required to upgrade software which accommodates new program requirements,” Premier members wrote. “We also appreciate that CMS has heard our concerns and proposed to lower the threshold for several performance measures, recognizing that the bar is simply too high.”

CMS also recommended requiring EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs that have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use in a prior year to attest to Modified Stage 2 by Oct. 1, 2017. 

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