Providers Ask CMS to Finalize 2015 Meaningful Use Changes

August 12, 2015 – As the deadline quickly approaches for providers to make the changes required in the proposed Meaningful Use rule, providers, vendors and other healthcare stakeholders are pushing CMS to finalize its rule and add flexibility in 2015 through 2017. CMS’ efforts to shorten the 2015 reporting period (following pressure from providers and lawmakers) have high priority with providers.

 

Released in April, the proposed rule seeks to shorten the reporting period for the program to 90 days in 2015, remove measures CMS qualifies as redundant or “topped out” and no longer considered useful for evaluating provider performance, and align hospitals’ meaningful use reporting period with that for doctors by moving it to the calendar year. Introduced by Rep. Renee Ellmers, The Flex-IT Act was proposed to shorten the reporting period to 90 days in 2015 and recently the Flex-IT 2 Act was introduced to permanently shorten the meaningful use reporting period to 90 days, along with other changes. Senate health committee Chair Lamar Alexander has stated that these changes are likely to be encompassed in the committee’s Innovation for Healthier Americans initiative. On July 31st in a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, 18 groups said, though they are appreciative of the changes that are currently part of the proposed rule, they need certainty on what the final regulation will include, particularly the confirmation of what objectives and measures will be included for the 2015 reporting year and which public health reporting proposals will be changed.