CMS recently revealed their plans on streamlining EHR reporting requirements for hospitals and eligible professionals. “These changes include a proposal for clinicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals to use a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016 – down from a full calendar year for returning participants,” states the CMS announcement. “This increases flexibility and lowers the reporting burden for hospital providers.”
The proposed rule also offers many adjustments in the objectives for Meaningful Use Stage 3; health service providers should produce evidence on the objectives to be qualified for the incentive payment of MU Stage 3. Nevertheless, CMS said that they have lowered the threshold to achieve the objectives as a result of the feedback from HIT vendors and providers.
Back in 2015, the reporting period for all the eligible professionals, CAHs, and eligible hospitals was any continuous 90-day period. However, as per the new proposal from CMS, a 90-day EHR reporting period would have to be any consecutive 90 days between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.
This new rule is a result of the reviews and comments CMS got on MACRA implementation recently. “Earlier this year, CMS conducted a review of the Medicare EHR Incentive Program for clinicians as part of our implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), with the aim of reconsidering the program so we move closer to achieving the full potential health information technology offers,” stated the agency. “Based on that review, CMS streamlined EHR reporting requirements under the proposed rule to implement certain provisions of MACRA to increase flexibility and support improved patient outcomes.”
In addition to this, CMS also proposed that the medical billing companies, eligible professionals, clinics, and CAHs, that have not demonstrated Meaningful Use successfully in any previous years, would need to attest to Modified Stage 2 before October 1, 2017. “Returning EPs, eligible hospitals and CAHs will report to different systems in 2017 and therefore would not be affected by this proposal,” CMS said.