CMS Proposes Reduction to Meaningful Use Reporting Period

AMA lauds agency’s plans to improve incentive program.

On January 29, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its intent to update rules for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs in 2015. CMS plans to shorten the reporting period to 90 days in response to requests from providers and others.

The intent of the change is to minimize the reporting burden on providers and to support the long-term goals of the program, according to a blog post from Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, CMS’ Chief Medical Officer.

The new rule is likely to go into effect this spring and would address provider concerns relating to software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other related concerns.

Apart from reducing the EHR reporting period to 90 days, the agency will consider proposals to:

  • Realign hospital EHR reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows
  • Revise other aspects of the program to match long-term goals and minimize complexity.

Note: These changes are separate from the upcoming Stage 3 proposed rule that’s expected to be released by early March.

In a statement released on January 29, 2015, the American Medical Association (AMA) expressed their satisfaction with the proposal. “We are eager to see the proposed rule as we have been working with CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) offering solutions to improve the incentive program for quite some time,” said Steven J. Stack, MD, AMA President-Elect .

The AMA and other groups had recently expressed their disappointment with CMS’ announced plans to dock Medicare reimbursement for over 257,000 physicians by 1percent because they did not meet certain Meaningful Use criteria.

To read the full text of the CMS announcement, go to http://blog.cms.gov/2015/01/29/cms-intends-to-modify-requirements-for-meaningful-use/

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms.