Groups Urge CMS To Finalize Meaningful Use Modifications
A group of health IT industry stakeholders sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell calling on CMS to quickly finalize proposed meaningful use modifications for 2015 through 2017, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 8/3).
Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
In April, CMS released a proposed rule that would shorten Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use attestation for eligible professionals and hospitals to a 90-day period in 2015.
In addition, the proposed rule would:
- Realign the reporting period starting in 2015 to allow hospitals to participate on the calendar year instead of the current fiscal year period;
- Reduce the number of meaningful use objectives to improve advanced use of EHRs; and
- Remove redundant measures and those that have become widely adopted.
In addition, the proposed rule would change Stage 2 meaningful use requirements related to patient engagement (iHealthBeat, 6/16).
The letter was signed by 18 organizations, including:
- The American Medical Informatics Association;
- The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives;
- GE Healthcare;
- Greenway Health;
- The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; and
- The Medical Group Management Association (Health Data Management, 8/3).
According to Politico's "Morning eHealth," the letter resulted from a meeting of government affairs officials following a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on July 23.
The groups noted that, Oct. 3 is the last chance to start a 90-day reporting period in 2015 and that "if providers do not receive the final rule shortly, it will be very difficult to make workflow adjustments in a timely manner to meet programmatic deadlines and facilitate meaningful use tracking and reporting" (Pittman, "Morning eHealth," Politico, 8/3).
They added that while the industry largely supports CMS' effort to simplify the program, "providers and technology developers need to have the certainty now that comes with a final rule in order to be able to meet the reporting deadlines for 2015 and continue participation in the program" (Health Data Management, 8/3).
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