The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) yesterday released final rules that simplify requirements providers must meet in order to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments and avoid downward payment adjustments under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
The new rule changes the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs reporting period in 2015 to any consecutive 90-day period in the calendar year. Other changes of note include lower thresholds for patients to view, download or transmit their health information, and for secure messaging in order for a practice to achieve meaningful use.
The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) staff experts currently are reviewing the 752-page rule. Watch the Bulletin and our website for updates.
A 60-day public comment period on the rule will allow CMS to gather additional feedback on the EHR Incentive Programs going forward, in particular with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which established the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Achieving meaningful use will be a component of the new MIPS program.
The ONC rule finalizes a new edition of certification criteria and modifies the ONC Health IT Certification Program to make it open and accessible to more types of health IT and health IT that supports various care and practice settings.
Also, CMS is holding a webinar titled, “EHR Incentive Programs Final Rule Overview & What You Need to Know for 2015,” to learn more about the recently released Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs Final Rule, tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 8, from noon to 1 p.m. Space is limited. Register now to secure your spot for this webinar. If you are unable to join, a copy of the presentation will be posted on the CMS Events page of the eHealth website following the event.
Read the CMS rule.
Read the ONC rule.
Read the CMS Fact sheet.