On April 10, 2015, CMS released a proposed rule that would dramatically change the Medicare and Medicaid (EHR) Incentive Program for 2015. We commented on the five most important changes that would affect EHR Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2 in my April 14 blog, which you can read here.
The five most significant changes, in a nutshell:
- Reduced Reporting Period in 2015: The EHR reporting period that was targeted to be a full year in 2015 would be reduced to a 90-day period (not a calendar quarter) based on the calendar year
- The most difficult Patient Engagement measures were relaxed
- Simplification of the Attestation Process by removing measures that are redundant, duplicative, or had already reached a very high performance level (“topped out”)
- Deprecated the Concept of Core and Menu Measures
- 2015 Will Be a Back Loaded Year
In my call today with CMS, they confirmed that the 2015 Stage 1 and Stage 2 makeover is delayed and the final rule will not be released until “early fall.”
Our prediction that 2015 would be a back loaded year was correct, although we expected a final rule this summer.
This continued delay is further confirmation of the following:
- The Meaningful Use program is very much in flux and there are differing opinions about how to proceed.
- The 90-day reporting period is a virtual “lock” to be part of the rule.
- We expect most providers will scramble to meet Meaningful Use in the final 90 days of the year, as they will be managing the ICD-10 transition at the same time.
We will keep you posted on further updates regarding 2015 Meaningful Use attestation.