CMS Releases Proposed Meaningful Use Flexibility Rule


Today, CMS released the Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Electronic Health Record Incentive Program -Modifications to Meaningful Use in 2015 through 2017 proposed rule. There are major changes to both Stage 1 and Stage 2 Meaningful Use in this proposed rule. CMS notes they are working toward reducing complexity in the Meaningful Use program and shifting to a single set of objectives and measures based on the Stage 3 proposed rule that was previously released. The three main changes are highlighted below.

Reporting Period

For 2015 only, CMS proposes to allow all eligible professionals, regardless of their prior participation in the program, to attest to an EHR reporting period of any calendar year quarter. For 2015 and 2016, CMS proposes to allow new participants in the EHR Incentive Program to attest to Meaningful Use for an EHR reporting period of any continuous 90-day period within the calendar year.  All returning participants in 2016 and 2017 would use an EHR reporting period of one year.

CMS notes that this shortened reporting period for 2015 is necessary in order to allow both providers and CMS time to make necessary changes to the reporting system based on the below proposals.

Patient Engagement Measures

CMS proposes to change the threshold from the Stage 2 objective for Patient Electronic Access, that requires patients to view, download or transmit their health information, from '5%' to 'equal or greater than 1'. CMS also proposes to change the Stage 2 Secure Electronic Access measure from being a percentage-based measure to a yes-no measure stating 'functionality fully enabled.'

Changes to Measures and Objectives

CMS is proposing to eliminate the distinction between menu and core measures and retained objectives and measures would be required for the program. In addition, CMS is proposing that all eligible professionals must report on 9 objectives and one consolidated public health reporting objective for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use.

For details on these proposed measures, please view CMS' chart on the proposed measures for Stage 1 and Stage 2. Please review this chart carefully as many of the percentages and exclusions have changed.

CMS is not proposing any changes to the CQM selection and reporting.

We will have more information as it becomes available and at the upcoming annual meeting. If you have any questions, please contact Ashley McGlone at 703-591-2220.