By Wendy Whitmore
Last week, 4Medapproved presented a Learning Lunch Webinar entitled: Meaningful Use: A State of Confusion. Almost 600 people registered in a week. Why? Because almost everyone IS confused. Not only did we have an enormous attendance, but a LONG list of questions were submitted during the session as well.
Questions ran the gamut with several EP’s asking if they might simply ignore the current timeline in favor of a plan to continue following stage 1 standards, or revert to stage 1 even though they had already begun following stage 2. This level of confusion is an unfortunate byproduct of the CMS announcement.
Jim Tate, MU guru and advocate for healthcare professionals noted that while CMS did issue a “proposed” rule stating that they “may” allow EP’s to attest for another year using 2011 MU Stage 1 standards, it is not a done deal.
The proposed rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would allow providers to use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
That said, the possible rule changes will not be announced until after the originally planned reporting period –thus it is best to keep on your current schedule to attest. If you have started down the path of MU Stage 2 reporting, don’t dust your progress under the rug. Keep moving!
If it so happens that your software is not ready for 2014 reporting, you can apply for a hardship exception without crossing fingers and hoping that the proposed rule results in a delay. That filing must be made soon, so best to know your options in advance. To be considered for an exception, an eligible professional must complete a Hardship Exception application along with proof of the hardship. If approved, the hardship exception is valid for 1 payment year only.
To apply for the exception, download*:
- Eligible Professionals Hardship Exception Application
- Eligible Professionals Hardship Multiple NPIs Addendum (For EPs submitting multiple NPIs)
*Hand written applications may delay processing. For more information, visit:
If the proposed rule does go into effect, here is what the new timeline would look like (click on image to enlarge):
This article was originally published on 4Medapproved and is republished here with permission. If you need clarity on the requirements for both stages and help developing a detailed action plan, 4Medapproved offers a self-paced online course, Certified Meaningful Use Professional (CMUP), available in the company’s curriculum catalog. CLICK HERE for detail on self-paced certification, all courses are 20% off using promo code HITECH.