ACC Pushes for Reduction in EHR Program Reporting Period

On Dec. 15, the ACC sent a letter urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to reduce the 2015 reporting period for the federal Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program from one year to 90 days.

Given the difficulties cardiologists and others have experienced obtaining EHRs that are certified to meet the 2014 standards and certification criteria, the College is concerned that significant numbers will be unable to meet the requirements for the program in 2015.

“While a certain amount of emphasis can spur on positive developments and encourage reticent participants, the pressure imposed on EPs and EHs at this point in time is inappropriate and largely outside of their control to address,” the letter notes. “They are dependent upon the availability of vendors to upgrade their EHRs, assuming that their vendors have received certification for upgrades. If not, they have to select a new EHR and again, are dependent upon the availability of the vendors to implement the new EHR.”

Physicians and hospitals who do not meet the requirements in 2015 will not only be ineligible for any incentive payments, but they will also face penalties in 2016 or 2017, depending on when they started participating in the program.

Keywords: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Electronic Health Records, Medicaid, Medical Informatics, Medicare, Motivation

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