The Kentucky Health Information Exchange (KHIE) has issued its June 2014 Newsletter, The KHIE Connection. This month’s issue includes a summary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that, if finalized, would allow providers to meet Stage 1 or Stage 2 Meaningful Use with electronic health records (EHRs) that are certified to HHS ONC’s 2011 or 2014 Edition criteria or a combination of both Editions. Comments to the NPRM must be received by July 21, 2014. The newsletter also addresses Medicare’s scheduled payment adjustments for 2015 that will impact eligible hospitals and providers who do not timelyattest to Meaningful Use of certified EHRs. Guidance on attesting to Meaningful Use also is included.
Reminder: The deadline for Medicare eligible professionals to attest to meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology for the 2013 program year is just two weeks away. Attestations are due on March 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Click here for addition information about the EHR incentive program as well as to register or attest to meaningful use.
On Friday, November 6, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC) announced its proposal to extend the timeline by which eligible healthcare providers must demonstrate a “meaningful use” (MU) of a certified electronic health record (EHR) in compliance with the MU Stage 2 criteria set forth in regulations issued pursuant to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. Originally, eligible providers who demonstrated Stage 1 MU by the end of 2013 would have had to demonstrate at least 3 months of Stage 2 MU by September 30, 2014 for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs) and by December 31, 2014 for eligible professionals, do one more year of Stage 2 in 2015, and then move to Stage 3 by 2016. The CMS – ONC apparently will give all eligible providers more time to stay in Stage 2, stating: “Under the revised timeline, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2.” In essence, the start of Stage 3 is being delayed and, apparently (pending further rule making), nothing else.
by Ann F. Triebsch
As we indicated in a posting last October and in a more recent August post , audits are now underway to verify that providers who received incentive monies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act for implementation of a certified electronic health record (EHR) have indeed met the “meaningful use” (MU) criteria. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has contracted with Garden City, NY-based Fagliozzi and Company to conduct these audits. The audits are designed to verify that providers receiving incentive payments are using certified EHR technology in a meaningful way. These audits can be a hassle, and there are risks if you cannot promptly provide what is requested—even if you are complying with the MU criteria.
On May 22, 2013, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the United States Health & Human Services Department, announced that over 50 percent of doctors and over 80 percent of hospitals are making a “meaningful use” of electronic health records (EHRs) and have received incentives for such use. By comparison, in 2008, just nine percent had adopted EHRs. Secretary Sebelius credits the “dramatic increase” in adoption of EHRs to the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) that was passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The HITECH Act awards incentives to eligible professionals (physicians) and hospitals who make a “meaningful use” of EHR technology that has been certified by the HHS Office of National Coordinator of Health Information Technology (ONC). The HHS press release with further information is available here.