CMS Meaningful Use Reporting Requirements Changed for 2015

CMS To Reduce Reporting Requirements

CMS announced today that they are reducing the reporting burden on providers for Meaningful Use in 2015, much to the relief of providers and hospitals.

CMS said in its blog post that they are considering proposals to:

  • Realign hospital EHR reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other CMS quality programs.
  • Modify other aspects of the program to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burdens.
  • Shorten the EHR reporting period in 2015 to 90 days to accommodate these changes.

The new rule is expected this spring, according to the blog, and is intended to be responsive to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other related concerns in 2015. The rule would also be intended to propose changes reflective of developments in the industry and progress toward program goals achieved since the program began in 2011.

The announcement that CMS intends to pursue the changes to meaningful use beginning in 2015 through rulemaking is separate from the forthcoming Stage 3 proposed rule that is expected to be released by early March. CMS said it intends to limit the scope of the Stage 3 proposed rule to the requirements and criteria for meaningful use in 2017 and subsequent years.

Multiple stakeholders had urged CMS to consider these types of changes, and legislation was recently introduced in Congress to address the issue.

It is almost always true that when CMS says “they are considering proposals” that they have already decided to make changes. This is good news for providers! Real questions about modifying certain reporting burdens remain. We remain hopeful that attesting to Meaningful Use Stage 2 will be easier after the rule is published this spring. Please remain vigilant this first quarter and work hard to meet Meaningful Use objectives until we get a final determination on the new rule.