CMS Announces Intent to Engage in Rulemaking for EHR Incentive Program Changes for 2015

On Jan. 29, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it intends to update the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs through the rulemaking process beginning this year.

Feedback from health care organizations and stakeholders, including the ACC, was instrumental in CMS' decision to consider shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days, realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year and modifying other aspects of the program. CMS noted that these proposed changes align with HHS' commitment to fostering a health information technology infrastructure that elevates patient-centered care, improves health outcomes and supports the providers who care for patients. In response to the announcement, ACC President

“We are pleased that CMS heard feedback from the ACC and other health organizations and is considering shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days for electronic health records,” commented ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC. “Efforts of Representatives Renee Ellmers and Ron Kind, who clearly listened to physician constituents, were instrumental in encouraging CMS to make this important change. However, the timeline for reporting must be addressed quickly by CMS, as physicians need to know how to successfully report to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program this year. CMS should fully consider the concerns of physicians about meaningful use implementation so that medical practitioners can focus on their primary goal: providing quality care to their patients.”

This initiative is separate and distinct from the widely anticipated proposed Stage 3 rule that is also expected this spring.

Keywords: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Electronic Health Records, Meaningful Use, Medicaid, Medical Informatics, Medicare, Patient-Centered Care, Physicians

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