AAFP Welcomes Legislation Setting 2016 MU Reporting Period at 90 Days

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Statement attributable to:
Wanda Filer, MD, MB
President, American Academy of Family Physicians

“Family physicians across the country applaud the introduction of the Flexibility in Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Act. If passed, physicians would have more time for patient care because they would be spending less time documenting and demonstrating that they are using their certified EHR technology in the rigid manner required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“CMS has signaled that it plans to redesign the meaningful use program when it rolls out the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System later this year.  Until then, however, CMS insists that physicians comply with a full-year reporting period in 2016 — rather than a 90-day reporting period as in all prior years. This bipartisan legislation — introduced in both houses of Congress — would allow physicians to report in 2016 as in previous years, and is an important signal that Congress wants the transition to MIPS to be as smooth and seamless as possible.   

“The AAFP has long called for this change. Although the CMS did reduce the reporting period to 90 days in 2015, this administrative relief was for only one calendar year. The Flexibility in Electronic Health Record Reporting Act would extend that flexibility through 2016 and the anticipated transition to MIPS.

“If passed, this bill would enable family physicians to spend more time focusing on their patients instead of their computer screens. It recognizes that family physicians need time and flexibility to continue transitioning their practice models to prepare for value-based payment.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. Filer, contact Leslie Champlin, (800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224, or lchampli@aafp.org.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions(5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit
www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).