CMS intends to modify legislation requirements for attesting to meaningful use to reduce the "burden" on providers and still support the long-term goals of the program.
The announcement notes the new rules "would be intended to be responsive to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness and other related concerns in 2015. IT would also be intended to propose changes reflective of developments in the industry and progress toward program goals achieved since the program began in 2011."
Providers have long voiced their frustrations with meaningful use, citing administrative burdens and lack of adequate time to prepare and implement EHRs and related systems.
CMS is considering proposals regarding the following:
- Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year, allowing eligible hospitals more time to implement 2014 Edition software into their workflow and to improve alignment with other CMS quality programs.
- Modify "other aspects of the program" to reduce complexity and lessen reporting burdens while still matching long-term goals.
- Reduce the EHR reporting period to 90 days from the current year-long reporting period.
This announcement of CMS' intent to modify meaningful use requirements through legislation is separate from the stage 3 proposed rule that was filed Dec. 31, 2014 with the Office of Management and Budget. The stage 3 proposed rule is expected to be released by March. The newly announced changes to MU requirements, on the other hand, are expected this spring.