Clarification on Data for EHR Quality Measures and other FAQs. In a just released FAQ, CMS indicated EHR calculated quality measures (QM) will not need to include all patients. The FAQ acknowledges that all data needed may not be available or accurate. Data submitted is not expected to match what hospitals submit through other CMS programs. CMS states that [it] “considers information to be accurate and complete for CQMs insofar as it is identical to the output that was generated from certified EHR technology.” Further, the FAQ notes that “The information submitted is accurate and complete for numerators, denominators, exclusions, and measures applicable to the EP, eligible hospital, or CAH”; and “The information submitted includes information on all patients to whom the measure applies.” Click here for more on FAQ 10589.
A second FAQ (10950) addresses the question of qualifying for incentive payments using a certified EHR or a combination of certified EHR Technology modules that collectively satisfy the definition of certified EHR technology. Should the EP or EH add to the mix a piece of uncertified EHR technology, that provider would not qualify for Meaningful Use. For details, see the full text. On the topic of proxy registration for EPs ( FAQ 10565), those registering or attesting on behalf of an EP must have an Identity and Access Management System (I&A) web user account (User ID/Password) and be associated with the EP's NPI. Those who do not have these credentials are advised to visit https://nppes.cms.hhs.gov/NPPES/IASecurityCheck.do to create one. For the entire list of FAQs, click here .
National Coordinator Charts Course for ‘Implementation Phase’ of Meaningful Use. The Bipartisan Policy Center held an event this week in Washington to unveil its newly formed Health Information Technology Initiative. ONC head Farzad Mostashari, M.D., was the keynote speaker, joining comments by BPC Fellows and Former Senators Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Robert Bennett (R-UT). Dr. Mostashari acknowledged that Meaningful Use was entering an “intense phase” of implementation, but he also praised the work of all stakeholders in setting a new model of regulation-setting and government collaboration. Without getting into much detail, Dr. Mostashari said his approach as the new head of ONC would be to “build on what works,” and display “bold incrementalism.” He continued by saying private industry was the best place for innovation in the health IT world. But he emphasized that government action was needed to create competition in areas of health IT where information asymmetry and externalities exist in the marketplace. "We need to do the minimum government action necessary, but no less," said Mostashari. Dr. Mostashari highlighted the Direct Project as being a model of innovation, collaboration and agility in health IT, delivering standards and protocols for secure “push” information exchange between physicians in fewer than 180 days.
Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Request to Fast-Track Health Reform Lawsuit; ACA HIT Funds on Congressional Chopping Block. In what many legal observers predicted, the Supreme Court Monday turned down a request from the Virginia Attorney General to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The request from Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II sought to bypass the Court of Appeals by sending it straight to the Supreme Court to decide if the ACA’s individual mandate was legal. As it stands now, more than half the states have filed suit against the federal government with at least three appeals courts scheduled to hear arguments in the coming months. On a related note, the Congressional Budget Office released a report this week finding that the federal government could decrease the deficit by $14 billion over the next decade by rescinding state grants for health insurance exchanges, thus leading to fewer enrollees and lower subsidy payments. House Republicans are expected to vote on a bill next week to repeal funding for $1.9 billion in grants for insurance exchanges, where it is expected to pass. Observers note, however, that the bill is not expected to be taken up in the Democratically-controlled Senate.
Details for CMS Provider Calls on Attestation Announced. As reported last week (Advocacy Corner 4/22), CMS will hold conference calls for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (May 3, 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET) and eligible professionals (May 5, 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET). To register for the hospital call, go to the registration site. Note that registration closes Monday, May 2, 2:00 PM ET. For eligible professionals (EPs), click here for the registration site. Also, note that registration for the EP call closes Wednesday, May 4, 1:30 PM ET.