In news that will surely make much of the healthcare IT world happy, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its intentions to shorten meaningful use reporting in 2015 from a full-year to 90-days.
The proposed provision is just one of the amendments CMS says it is considering making to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. CMS also says it will consider allowing eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and align with other CMS quality reporting programs by realigning EHR reporting periods to the calendar year. They’ll also modify other aspects of the program to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burdens.
The modified rule is expected to be released in the spring. In a blog announcing the modifications, CMS’ deputy administrator Patrick Conway, M.D. says the new rule is a direct response to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other concerns. Groups like the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) have long voiced their concerns over the stringent 2015 reporting periods. The groups aligned with several lawmakers, including Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), to propose legislation that would shorten the reporting period. It appears those groups will get their wish.
“CHIME is absolutely thrilled with CMS’ blog announcement that 2015 will move to a 90-day reporting period. We appreciate them listening to the industry and supporting meaningful use in its advancement," CHIME CEO Russ Branzell said to HCI.
CMS notes that the announcement released today is separate from its Stage 3 proposed rulemaking, which they say will be released in early March. To that note, Conway says CMS “intends to limit the scope of the Stage 3 proposed rule to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and subsequent years.”
Healthcare Informatics will have more on this developing story