MGMA Pushes CMS to Extend MU Reporting Period | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

MGMA Pushes CMS to Extend MU Reporting Period

September 1, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

After pushing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) to publish final rule for the modifications to the meaningful use program from 2015-2017, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) is now asking the feds to extend the 2015 reporting period into the first quarter of 2016.

In April, CMS 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. The proposed rule would streamline reporting requirements and would shorten Medicare and Medicaid meaningful use attestation for eligible professionals and hospitals to a 90-day period in 2015. Comments for that proposed rule were due on June 15.

Nonetheless, that final rule has yet to be issued. In a recent letter to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell from MGMA, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and other industry groups, they said, “The October 3rd deadline to begin the final possible 90-day reporting period in calendar year 2015 is fast-approaching. If providers do not receive the Final Rule shortly, it will be very difficult to make workflow adjustments in a timely manner to meet programmatic deadlines and facilitate meaningful use tracking and reporting.” Other hospital and health system-represented groups, including the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Premier healthcare Alliance, have also written to HHS urging the department to publish the rule.

MGMA’s recent request now reads, “The delay in finalizing these much-needed modifications has caused unnecessary industry confusion and uncertainty and stalled meaningful use progress. MGMA is very concerned that medical groups will have insufficient time to transition their software and workflow to meet the revised requirements and as a result, we expect that many providers will be unable to attest in 2015.”

Halee Fischer-Wright, M.D, MGMA president and CEO, said in the statement, “Even if the final rule came out today, the window of time that CMS is leaving medical groups and vendors to adjust workflows and update systems is both unacceptable and unrealistic. Forcing groups and their EHR vendor partners to scramble in a short period of time to meet the Oct. 3 start date for the last reporting period essentially guarantees that a significant number of program participants will fail in 2015. Adding to this challenge is the fact that the industry is facing the transition to ICD-10 on Oct. 1, yet another demanding government initiative.”

The healthcare industry is now left with just one month to complete system updates and comply with new requirements. As such, MGMA is calling on CMS to allow medical groups the option of reporting for 2015 in the last 90 days of 2015 or into the first 90 days of 2016. For the 2016 reporting year, MGMA recommends that the agency move to a 90-day reporting period—permitting those providers who select the first 90 days of 2016 to report 2015 measures three remaining quarters to report 2016 measures.

“Providing this flexibility will permit groups additional time to upgrade their EHRs to the revised Stage 2 specifications and test these systems to ensure that they are able to conform to program requirements while meeting the practical needs of clinicians and their patients. An extension of the 2015 reporting year is absolutely vital to continued program success,” said Fischer-Wright. 

Get the latest information on Meaningful Use 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

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.

Humana Develops Medication Management Tool

A new tool developed by Humana enables the company’s members to keep a list of their medications in one place.