October 9, 2015
Earlier this week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Stage 1 and Stage 2 modifications and Stage 3 final rules of the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program.
The Stage 1 and Stage 2 modifications include:
- The number of objectives eligible professionals have to meet in Stage 1 and Stage 2 dropped to 10 from 18, including one consolidated public health reporting objective.
- For an EHR reporting period in 2015, providers must attest to their use for any consecutive 90-day period by February 29, 2016, but cannot do so before January 4, 2016.
- For an EHR reporting period in 2016 and 2017, providers successfully attesting for the first time have a 90-day reporting period.
- For providers that choose to start attesting in Stage 3 have a 90-day reporting period.
- For providers reporting in 2015 using Stage 2 requirements:
- Only one patient seen by a provider need to view, download, or transmit their electronic health records (replacing the 5% threshold requirement)
- Eligible professionals must only attest that they have the capability to exchange secure electronic messages (replacing the rule that 5% of patients have exchanged secure electronic messages)
The Stage 3 final rules stipulate:
- Providers must meet eight objectives, more than 60% of which require interoperability, up from one-third in Stage 2.
- Application program interfaces (APIs) may be used as an alternative to patient portals to facilitate the sharing of electronic records with patients. This will help patients have complete access to their own health records, enabling them to make key health decisions.
- CQM reporting will be aligned with the CMS quality reporting programs.
- Public health reporting will be required but flexible options will be available for measure selection.
More information about Stage 1 and Stage 2 modifications and Stage 3 final rules of the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program, and how they affect you as an eligible professional, can be found on the CMS website.