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HIMSS Urges Speed in Stage 2 Flexibility; Changes to 2015 Reporting Requirements

July 21, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Taking a page from its affiliated EHR Association, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to act quickly on publishing a final rule for Stage 2 meaningful use flexibility.

Last week, the HIMSS EHR Association wrote to the Karen DeSalvo, M.D., National Coordinator for Health IT and Marilyn Tavenner, R.N., Administrator for CMS, urging them to act fast on a final rule that would give eligible providers (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) more flexibility in attesting to Stage 2 of meaningful use. HIMSS is singing a similar tune to Dr. DeSalvo and Tavenner in their letter to the duo, asking that they quickly publish a final rule that includes clarifications to ensure that providers who acted based on the original notice of proposed rulemaking will not be negatively impacted.

In May, CMS and ONC proposed a rule that states that providers can use the 2011 Edition of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. In 2015, the rule proposes that hospitals and professionals would be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT.

Like the EHR Association, HIMSS is asking for CMS to provide further clarification on some points of the proposed rule. Specifically, HIMSS asks how would providers perform a security assessment retroactively and how would non percentage-based objectives work retroactively. Also, it wants to know what auditors would look for in terms of documentation from an earlier 2014 period. Also like EHR Association, HIMSS noted that its important CMS and ONC to clarify text references that refer to providers that can’t “fully implement” 2014 certified electronic health record technology.

Toward the end of the letter, HIMSS asks that CMS and ONC consider changing the reporting requirements for 2015. Instead, they say, providers who are not in their first year of meaningful use reporting should only have to meet requirements for one quarter, rather than a year.

“This idea adopts the policy that CMS was using for MU Stage 2 in 2014 and allows providers more time to implement a new 2014 solution, as well as to continue to prepare for a successful transition to MU Stage 2 in 2015,” HIMSS wrote in the letter.

To read HIMSS’ full letter, click here.



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