The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently proposed a brand new rule for HER Incentive Programs to align the objectives and measures of State 1 and Stage 2 with the proposals in place for State 3. This rule would be just a small part of a larger effort across the entirety of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide better patient care and be smarter about spending.
The proposed rule would streamline a lot of reporting requirements. Some suggestions include:
- Reducing the total amount of objectives to provide better focus on an advanced use of EHRs
- Completely removing any measures found to be redundant or those that have already reached widespread adoption
- Realigning the reporting period starting in 2015, so hospital participation would be measured by the calendar year rather than the fiscal year
- Allowing 90 days for a reporting period in 2015 to help accommodate the implementation of all of the proposed changes for this year
The idea is that following these new rules would enhance health systems’ ability to measure quality and set new goals for improvement, which would in turn improve the way they deliver healthcare to patients.
Additionally, the proposed rule would reduce the amount of required reporting, which would allow healthcare providers to focus specifically on objectives that support an advanced use of HER technology.
These modifications have been the subject of praise by groups like the American Medical Group Association, which says the new proposed rule “reflects that CMS has been sensitive to the struggles that the health care industry has had with meaningful use by simplifying some of the reporting requirements through 2017.”
Critics of the modifications say the proposal to reduce requirements relating to patient engagement would be a departure from much-needed efforts to make patients and healthcare providers partners in improving health through shared understanding, information and decision making.
We will continue to stay up to date with the latest information regarding these modifications as they continue to evolve.
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