ASCRS Confirms Providers Can Exclude Cancer Registries for Stage 2 Meaningful Use Public Health Objective in 2016

On Friday, ASCRS received confirmation from CMS that providers can exclude cancer registries for the specialized registry reporting measure under the Public Health Objective for Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2016. ASCRS had previously confirmed with CMS that the statute states that if the only specialized registry in a provider’s state that accepts ophthalmic data is a cancer registry, and the provider was not previously planning to register for that cancer registry, they can claim an exclusion from the cancer registry under the specialized registry reporting measure in 2016. However, following a Meaningful Use Webinar by CMS hosted by ASCRS last week, CMS shared conflicting answers with some of our members regarding cancer registry requirements.

As you know, providers are required to report on three measures under the public health objective. Ophthalmologists were able to claim exclusions for all three measures in 2015. In 2016, providers will still be able to claim an exclusion for the first measure: Immunization Registry Reporting. Ophthalmologists can claim the exclusion that they do not administer any immunizations to any of the populations for which data is collected by the jurisdiction’s immunization registry or immunization information system.

The second measure, syndromic surveillance reporting, requires eligible professionals to be in active engagement with a public health agency to submit syndromic surveillance data. In 2016, providers are required to check with their state to see if there is a syndromic surveillance registry collecting ophthalmic data. If the provider finds there is no syndromic surveillance registry collecting ophthalmic data for their state, they can claim the exclusion that they operate in a jurisdiction where no public health agency has declared readiness to receive syndromic surveillance data from eligible professionals in the start of the EHR reporting period.

The third measure, specialized registry reporting, requires eligible professionals to attest they are in active engagement to submit data to a specialized registry. For 2016, providers are required to register with two specialized registries if they claim the exclusions for the first two measures. Providers are required to check with their specialty societies and their states to see if there are registries available. The IRIS registry, through the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is the only registry offered through an ophthalmology medical specialty society, and will be required as one registry. Then, providers must check with their state to see if there is a second registry that accepts ophthalmic data. If the only specialized registry in a provider’s state that accepts ophthalmic data is a cancer registry, and the provider was not previously planning to register for that cancer registry, they can claim an exclusion from the cancer registry under the specialized registry reporting measure in 2016. ASCRS worked with CMS Friday to ensure that all CMS officials are clear that cancer registries can be excluded in 2016.

Please contact Ashley McGlone, manager of regulatory affairs, at 703-591-2220 if you have any questions.