Health Information Management

CMS, ONC release EHR Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification proposed rules

HIM-HIPAA Insider, March 30, 2015

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released two proposed rules designed to improve care delivery and experience and enhance the sharing of electronic health information.

The proposed rules for Stage 3 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs and 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria, both of which were released March 20, are intended to offer increased flexibility for providers. By simplifying the EHR Incentive Programs, the proposed rules should drive interoperability and allow providers to further focus on patient care.
The Stage 3 proposed rule outlines requirements that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals must meet to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments as well as avoid negative Medicare payment adjustments. CMS believes the changes will provide a framework to reduce provider burden and streamline program reporting.
The Stage 3 proposed rule encourages electronic submission of clinical quality measure (CQM) data in 2017 and requires it in 2018 and beyond. The proposed rule states that a new method of adopting CQM changes and the associated reporting requirements is necessary to facilitate continuous quality improvement. To better align the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs with other quality reporting programs (e.g., physician quality reporting system and the hospital inpatient quality reporting system), CMS intends to include future updates for CQM reporting requirements in rulemaking such as the physician fee schedule and inpatient prospective payment system annual rules.
CMS proposed requiring all providers to report on Stage 3 meaningful use in 2018 regardless of the stage they reported the year prior. The rule also proposed establishing requirements for transitioning the program to a single meaningful use stage, which means Stage 3 would be the final stage in the program and would incorporate portions of Stages 1 and 2. In addition, CMS proposed the adoption of a full calendar year reporting period with limited exceptions for Medicaid providers demonstrating meaningful use for the first time. CMS proposed to maintain payment adjustment provisions finalized in the Stage 2 final rule.
Click here to read more on the HCPro website.
The comment period for both proposed rules ends May 29. To comment, visit For additional information, see the related fact sheet and press release.


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