In praising the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for extending the Meaningful Use hardship exemption, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers stated she remains committed to passing a law that would ease Stage 2 reporting requirements.
Ellmers (R-NC) said that while she was pleased to see CMS respond to a letter she wrote administrator Marilyn Tavenner about the meaningful use website glitch, more needs to be done. She says extending the hardship exemption for those affected by the glitch does not provide enough flexibility for eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) attempting to meet Stage 2 of meaningful use.
“This is why the Flex-IT Act, legislation I authored, is so crucial to resolving these burdens experienced by hospital providers—it will supply providers with much-needed flexibility, and a larger window of time, for meeting Stage 2 requirements. I remain committed to the passage of the Flex-IT Act and again ask for CMS to reconsider their rigid reporting period currently in place,” Ellmers said in a statement.
The Flex-IT Act was introduced a month ago. It would allow providers to attest to meaningful use Stage 2 in 2015 through a 90-day reporting period as opposed to a full year. The proposed bill is supported by many advocacy groups, including the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).
Currently, providers attesting to Stage 2 of meaningful use in 2015 are required to report for a full-year. Because the fiscal year starts in October, this means that providers and their certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) vendors have to be ready in a few weeks for attestation.