The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed reducing the amount of time physicians and practices need to report to comply with the meaningful use (MU) program.
Originally, eligible professionals and eligible hospitals needed to report a full year’s worth of data from their electronic health records (EHRs) to meet the 2016 requirement and avoid a financial penalty.
But as part of a group of proposed policy and payment changes released earlier this month and published in the Federal Register this week, CMS says it would require those parties to submit data for any continuous 90 days between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 of this year.
“We believe it would continue to assist health care providers by increasing flexibility in the program,” CMS said in a release, noting this is the same reporting period as in 2015.
CMS also said that physicians and hospitals who have not successfully attested to MU in a previous year would have to meet modified Stage 2 requirements by Oct. 1, 2017, instead of Stage 3.
Also, certain eligible professionals who have not successfully demonstrated MU in a previous year, plan to attest to MU in 2017, and plan to report data for the advancing care information performance category under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2017 can apply for a significant hardship exception from payment penalties in 2018.
CMS is accepting comments on the proposed rule though Sept. 6 before releasing a final rule.
If you don’t want to read the full proposed rule, CMS released a more succinct fact sheet.
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