It’s final. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and ONC have released final rules for the EHR Incentive Programs, which they say will ease reporting requirements for providers and allow for 90-day reporting periods. They also announced major news on Stage 3 of the program.
The 2015 rule builds on 2011 and 2014 and is reflective of input from industry stakeholders, according to Karen DeSalvo, MD, national coordinator for health IT and acting assistant secretary for Health at HHS.
The final rules, as CMS and ONC officials announced late Tuesday, “make significant changes in current requirements.” Chief among them are easing the reporting requirements for providers, said Patrick Conway, MD, of CMS, in a media call Tuesday afternoon. The rules also allow for a 90-day reporting period for providers in 2015, and new providers in 2016 and 2017.
There were also big changes to the number of objectives for eligible hospitals, which have been reduced from about 20 in prior stages to eight.
Clinical quality measures for both hospitals and providers will remain the same.
Stage 3, CMS officials also announced, will go on as planned and will not be delayed, but they will extend the public comment period for Stage 3.
After receiving some 2,500 comments from industry stakeholders on the two proposed rules, CMS made some big changes to the regulations:
In 2017, Stage 3 requirements are optional, but providers who opt to start Stage 3 that year will have a 90-day reporting period. Come 2018, all providers must comply with Stage 3 regulations using a certified EHR.
According to a CMS fact sheet detailing the final rules, major provisions pertaining to Stage 3 meaningful use include:
Article Courtesy of HealthcareITNews
Erin McCann, Managing Editor