BREAKING: Latest CMS Proposed Rule Aims for More MU Flexibility | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

BREAKING: Latest CMS Proposed Rule Aims for More MU Flexibility

April 10, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new proposed rule to align meaningful use Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3.

In an announcement, the federal agency said that the aim is “to build progress toward program milestones, to reduce complexity, and to simplify providers’ reporting. These modifications would allow providers to focus more closely on the advanced use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to support health information exchange and quality improvement.”

The proposed rule would streamline reporting requirements. To accomplish these goals, the rule proposes:  

  • Reducing the overall number of objectives to focus on advanced use of EHRs;
  • Removing measures that have become redundant, duplicative or have reached wide-spread adoption;
  • Realigning the reporting period beginning in 2015, so hospitals would participate on the calendar year instead of the fiscal year; and
  • Allowing a 90-day reporting period in 2015 to accommodate the implementation of these proposed changes in 2015.

On March 20, CMS released its proposed Stage 3 rule, also aimed to reduce program complexity and align meaningful use closer with other quality reporting programs. In terms of specific objectives and measures, the Stage 3 proposed rule has reduced the objectives to eight to focus on "advanced use" of EHRs.

In this most recent announcement, CMS reiterated that this new proposed rule will allow providers to refocus on the advanced use objectives and measures. “These advanced measures are at the core of health IT supported healthcare which drives toward improving the way electronic health information is shared among providers and with their patients, enhancing the ability to measure quality and set improvement goals, and ultimately improving the way health care is delivered and experienced,” the agency said. 

In a joint statement issues April 10, CHIME and AMDIS applaud the modifications. “The ability for providers to demonstrate MU through a shortened reporting period will keep them engaged in the program and position our industry to continue the momentum towards the goals of enhanced care coordination and interoperability,” the organizations said, adding that the adjustment to the patient access measure to “equal to or greater than one [percent]” down from five percent was a welcome adjustment from CMS.

But the two groups said CMS made a mistake by failing to address the program’s “pass/fail” construct. “Now that we are well into the penalty phase of the program, we do not believe providers who make good-faith efforts should be penalized for missing 1 percent on one threshold,” they said. “Rather, policymakers should acknowledge providers who invest resources to become meaningful users, but fall short of perfection, by limiting penalties to those providers who clearly did not make the effort.”

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.

Analysis: Healthcare Ransomware Attacks Decline in First Half of 2018

In the first half of 2018, ransomware events in major healthcare data breaches diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a new report form cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

Dignity Health, UCSF Health Partner to Improve the Digital Patient Experience

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a digital engagement platform that officials believe will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.