Meaningful Use

On April 15th CMS published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register: “Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 Through 2017; Proposed Rule”

In this Proposed Rule, CMS sought to change the rules for Meaningful Use reporting for all physicians and hospitals in 2015, regardless of the stage of reporting. The reporting period for 2015 would also be changed to a 90 day period rather than the entire year: “For 2015 and 2016, we are proposing to allow… all EPs (regardless of their prior participation in the program) to attest to an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90-day period within the calendar year.” 1 and Stage 2 to better align with Stage 3: “beginning with an EHR reporting period in 2015, providers would no longer be required to attest to certain objectives and measures which have been identified through our analysis to have reduced utility…” This means that physicians could have a smaller set of measures to report on in 2015, regardless of whether they are in Stage 1 or Stage 2 of MU.

The CMS proposed rule wanted to eliminate the distinction between core and menu measures and removed eleven MU measures. CMS proposed to require only nine of the original core measures and one original menu measure for public health reporting. This created a total of ten measures, which are all you would report on to achieve MU in 2015.

The Final Rule for Meaningful Use for 2015-2016 that was published by CMS on 6 October 2015 in a 700+ page document. A a summary listing of the measures that Physicians will need to meet for attesting to Meaningful Use for 2015 is given below.

Two notable changes are the reporting period – any 90 days in 2015 – and a reduction of measures to only 10.

Many physicians will find that meeting the measures for attestation is much easier this year. However, one of the measures - #5 Health Information Exchange – may cause them difficulties. This measure requires doctors to send a clinical summary using Direct Secure Messaging for 10% of the patients they refer to another doctor during the reporting period or for any transition of care. If a physician refers of transitions less than 100 patients in the 90-day reporting period there is an exemption. Otherwise physicians will fail the attestation for Meaningful Use and be liable for penalties.

Contact Image Research for more information:
Christopher B. Sullivan, PhD