• Register By Monday to Remain Eligible for Incentive Payments

CMS issued the following updated FAQs on Thursday, Feb. 25:

FAQ #14393 (New): Can a provider register their intent after the first 60 days of the reporting period in order to meet the measures if a registry becomes available after that date?

FAQ #14397 (New): What should a provider do in 2016 if they did not previously intend to report to a public health reporting measure that was previously a menu measure in Stage 2 and they do not have the necessary software in CEHRT or the interface the registry requires available in their health IT systems?  What if the software is potentially available but there is a significant cost to connect to the interface?

FAQ #14401 (New): For 2016, what alternate exclusions are available for the public health reporting objective?  Is there an alternate exclusion available to accommodate the changes to how the measures are counted?

FAQ #13657 (Updated): What steps does a provider have to take to determine if there is a specialized registry available for them, or if they should instead claim an exclusion? 

FAQ #14117 (Updated): What steps do eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals need to take to meet the specialized registry objective? Is it different from EPs? 

FAQ #13653 (Updated): What can count as a specialized registry? 

Last week, North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation’s Director of Practice Improvement Terri Gonzalez sent an email strongly urging practices to register intent to submit data on the North Carolina Immunization Registry and the North Carolina Centralized Cancer Registry before the end of February to help ensure you remain eligible for meaningful use (MU)incentive payments, the. There are still a few days remaining the month to do so. Register intent to submit via the NC DPH Meaningful Use Site for Registration of Intent.
To meet Stage 2 MU public health reporting requirements, providers must declare their intent to submit information electronically to two public health registries in the first 60 days of the year. That means practices would need to complete the process by Monday, Feb. 29.
The only specialized registry offered by NC DPH is the NC Centralized Cancer Registry, which accepts cancer reports from eligible professionals who diagnose or treat cancer.
Information about other specialized registries can be found here.
“The important thing is to show you tried or had the intent to register,” Gonzalez said. “Then you’ll have the paperwork to back you up and shouldn’t miss this requirement to receive incentive payments.”
For more information on why this is required, please read this CMS FAQ carefully. please contact the N.C. DPH Meaningful Use Help Desk by email ([email protected]), or for questions related specifically to immunization reporting contact [email protected].

  • CMS Clarifies What MU Hardship Exception Means

CMS has clarified that applying for a hardship exception from the 2017 meaningful use payment penalty will not preclude physicians from receiving the incentive if they successfully attest to meaningful use in 2015.  CMS’ clarification may be found in the answer to FAQ #14357.
The AMA is encouraging all physicians to apply for a hardship exception as a result of the delay of the 2015 meaningful use modification rule. To file for the exception, read the instructions and download the application form. The deadline to file the application is March 15, 2016.

  • Meaningful use attestation deadline extended

Physicians now have an additional two weeks to attest to meaningful use for the 2015 program year. CMS extended the original Feb. 29 attestation deadline to midnight March 11.
Physicians must attest to meaningful use every year to receive an incentive payment and avoid a penalty. Note that CMS is only extending the attestation period, not the reporting period, so physicians must have concluded their reporting by Dec. 31, 2015.
To attest, physicians should submit their data through the CMS registration and attestation system. Physicians may select an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90 days from Jan. 1, 2015, (the start of the 2015 calendar year) through Dec. 31, 2015.
To speed the attestation process, the AMA recommends that physicians attest during off-peak hours, such as evenings and weekends, and take time now to ensure that their information is up-to-date before beginning to enter 2015 data.