America’s Essential Hospitals, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), and fourteen other healthcare associations in the country recently requested the newly appointed secretary of HHS, Tom Price, to indefinitely delay the implementation of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System‘s Advancing Care Information (ACI) section and Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use EHR incentive program.
In addition to that, the associations also requested the HHS not to force the healthcare providers to move to 2015 Edition CEHRT. This actually refers to recent requirements for Certified EHR Technology that was approved last year, but most of the HER developers have failed to meet this requirement.
As per the letter sent by the health care associations, only 56 EHRs were certified under the 2015-edition criteria of the government. The organizations also pointed out that about 3724 EHRs were certified under the 2014 edition.
The division director for federal policy and regulatory affairs at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Michael Lipinski, indicated that most of the EHRs that are now in use are actually from the 2014 edition. He confirmed this in an annual HIMSS conference, which was held in Orlando, Florida.
According to the CMS, all eligible clinicians must use the 2015-edition EHRs in the year 2018 for MIPS and Stage 3 Meaningful Use. The letter to Dr. Price, however, states that, “It is extremely unlikely that vendors will be able to deliver the systems in time for providers to test and deploy them by January 1, 2018. Without these systems, providers face rushed implementations, which may jeopardize patient safety, coupled with the potential for substantial financial penalties.”
Reports indicate that these financial penalties will negatively affect the healthcare physicians who are currently under the Medicaid part of the Meaningful Use program. In addition to that, the doctors who do not meet the requirements of the programs will also be affected by this.
Reports say that the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which includes MIPS, do not apply to many hospitals in the country. This means that all the hospitals in the country will have to meet the Meaningful Use requirements in 2018.
Note that the American Hospital Association (AHA) had also sent a letter to President Trump earlier, requesting him to terminate Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program, “so that hospitals will not be forced to spend large sums of money upgrading their electronic health records (EHRs) solely for the purpose of meeting regulatory requirements.”