CMS gives providers 90-day reporting period and eases other meaningful use EHR objectives

The final rule also drops clinical decision support and computerized order entry objectives and measures.
By Bernie Monegain
11:05 AM
CMS final rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave healthcare providers what they have rallied long and hard to get as participants in the Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program: a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016 and 2017.

Also, CMS is making changes under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals attesting to meaningful use by eliminating the clinical decision support and computerized order entry objectives and measures beginning in 2017.

The changes also apply to hospitals that are eligible to participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs – dual-eligible hospitals.

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Also, CMS is reducing a subset of thresholds for the remaining objectives and measures for Modified Stage 2 and Stage 3.

CMS is finalizing an application process for a one-time significant hardship exception to the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for certain eligible professionals in 2017 that are also transitioning to MIPS – the Merit-based Incentive Payment System

As CMS officials put it, the additions increase flexibility, lower the reporting burden for providers, and focus on the exchange of health information and using technology to support patient care.

HIMSS and CHIME, both healthcare IT industry advocates, lobbied for the 90-day reporting versus the full year reporting.

In a letter to acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt on September 1, HIMSS CEO Stephen Lieber and HIMSS Board Chair Michael Zaroukian, MD called swift finalization of a 90-day meaningful use reporting period for 2016.

Meaningful Use, Stage 3 is slated to begin in 2018 with a full-year reporting period. 

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
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