CMS Proposes Changes to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs

EHR_CMSlogo-2015-200On July 6, CMS (@CMSGov) released the Calendar Year (CY) 2017 Changes to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) proposed rule. This rule includes a number of proposed changes that would affect the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.

The proposed changes to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, include:

  • Eliminate the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) and Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) objectives and measures beginning in 2017 and reduce the thresholds for a subset of the remaining objectives and measures in Modified Stage 2 in 2017 and Stage 3 in 2017 and 2018 for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) attesting under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program. Please note that these changes would not apply to eligible hospitals and CAHs that attest under a state’s Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
  • Propose a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2016 for all eligible professionals (EPs), eligible hospitals, and CAHs.
  • Require new participants (EPs, eligible hospitals, and CAHs) to attest to Modified Stage 2 by October 1, 2017 to avoid the 2018 payment adjustment.
  • Allow certain EPs, who are new participants that intend to attest to meaningful use for an EHR reporting period in 2017, and who intend to transition to MIPS and report on measures specified for the advancing care information performance category to apply for a significant hardship exception from the 2018 payment adjustment.
  • Changing the policy for measure calculations such that, for all meaningful use measures, unless otherwise specified, actions included in the numerator must occur within the EHR reporting period if that period is a full calendar year, or if it is less than a full calendar year, within the calendar year in which the EHR reporting period occurs.

For More Information

Review the press release for additional information, including instructions on how to submit formal comments and an official fact sheet.