Following ASCRS Advocacy, CMS Releases New and Updated Guidance on the Public Health Reporting Requirements for Meaningful Use 2016

Late yesterday, CMS released three new and three updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the 2016 Meaningful Use Public Health Objective requirements.  

As we have been reporting, ASCRS notified CMS of issues our members are having with the Public Health objective, and has been working with CMS to develop effective solutions.  The FAQs below should allow ophthalmologists to successfully meet the Public Health Objective requirements for 2016.

FAQ 14397 allows providers to claim an exclusion for public health objective measures if they were not previously intending to report to a public health measure and either do not have the necessary software the registry requires or face a significant cost to connect to the interface. In addition, FAQ 14401 states that CMS does not intend to penalize providers for changes to their systems or reporting made necessary by the 2015 EHR Modifications Rule. Specifically, this FAQ clarifies that CMS will allow alternate exclusions for the syndromic surveillance and specialized registry measures in 2016. 

Please see below for the new and updated FAQs: 

FAQ 14397: What should a provider do in 2016 if they did not previously intend to report to a public health reporting measure that was previously a menu measure in Stage 2 and they do not have the necessary software in CEHRT or the interface the registry requires available in their health IT systems?  What if the software is potentially available but there is a significant cost to connect to the interface? See answer. 

FAQ 14401: For 2016, what alternate exclusions are available for the public health reporting objective?  Is there an alternate exclusion available to accommodate the changes to how the measures are counted? See answer.

FAQ 14393: Can a provider register their intent after the first 60 days of the reporting period in order to meet the measures if a registry becomes available after that date? See answer. 

The below FAQs have also been updated to reflect the changes in public health measure guidance: 

  • FAQ 13657: What steps does a provider have to take to determine if there is a specialized registry available for them, or if they should instead claim an exclusion? See answer. 
  • FAQ 14117: What steps do eligible hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals need to take to meet the specialized registry objective? Is it different from Eligible Professionals? See answer.
  • FAQ 13653: What can count as a specialized registry? See answer.

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