CMS Releases Proposed Rule to realign the EHR Incentive Programs

On April 10, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a press release focused on  “a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs to align Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3, to build progress toward program milestones, to reduce complexity, and to simplify providers’ reporting.”  The release stated “these modifications would allow providers to focus more closely on the advanced use of certified EHR technology to support health information exchange and quality improvement.” In a section of the release entitled “Vision for a Future” CMS “ is also simplifying the structure and reducing the reporting requirements for providers participating in the program by removing measures which have become duplicative, redundant, and reached wide-spread adoption (i.e., are “topped out”). This will allow providers to refocus on the advanced use objectives and measures.”  

Under “Simplifying and Streamlining”, CMS states “the proposed rule would streamline reporting requirements. To accomplish these goals, the NPRM 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.”

For more information, you can access this proposed new rule here.

Meaningful UseStage 2Modifications