The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program to “allow providers to focus more closely on the advanced use of certified HER technology to support health information exchange and quality improvement.” According to CMS, electronic health records are the next step in the continued progress of healthcare that can strengthen the relationship between patients and clinicians.
The new proposed rule would streamline reporting requirements by:
Reducing the overall number of objectives to focus on advanced use of EHRs.
Removing measures that have become redundant, duplicative or have reached widespread adoption.
Realigning the reporting period beginning in 2015 so hospitals would participate on the calendar year instead of the fiscal year, and
Allowing a 90-day reporting period in 2015 to accommodate the implementation of these proposed changed in 2015.
“The proposed rule is just one part of a larger effort across [the Department of Health and Human Services] to deliver better care, spend health dollars more wisely, and have healthier people and communities by working in three core areas: improving the way providers are paid, improving the way care is delivered, and improving the way information is shared to support transparency for consumers, healthcare providers and researchers and to strengthen decision making,” according to CMS.
Initially, the proposed rule required a full-year of electronic health record reporting in 2015. CMS reduced the reporting period from one year to 90 days after repeated requests from hospital advocates, according to the Health Care Financial Management Association.