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From Health Law Daily, August 7, 2015

AHA urges CMS to hasten release of EHR Final rule

By Patricia K. Ruiz, J.D.

The American Health Association (AHA) urged the release a Final rule making modifications to the meaningful use requirements under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program for the 2015 through 2017 fiscal years (FYs) in a letter to HHS. Such a rule is past due, as it would affect the current program year from meaningful use, the letter states.

Flexibility in reporting requirements. Previously, CMS proposed changing reporting requirements for hospitals under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program from a fiscal to a calendar year, and based on that policy, the last possible reporting period for 2015 would begin October 3, 2015 (Proposed rule, 80 FR 20346, April 15, 2015; see CMS proposes 90-day EHR reporting period for 2015, April 15, 2015). However, the proposed rule also listed other possible reporting periods for earlier dates in FY 2015. While the AHA stated that its membership appreciates the flexibility provided, the hospitals need to know with certainty the best reporting period to choose so they may begin the process or reviewing performance to ensure they have met all of the program’s revised requirements. The AHA urged CMS to finalize those changes as proposed.

Other requirements, such as making e-prescribing of discharge medications mandatory and adding new public health reporting measures would make meeting Stage 2 requirements more difficult, and, with the delay in the release of a Final rule, would be virtually impossible for hospitals to meet.

The AHA stated that failure to release a Final rule in the immediate future would create significant roadblocks for hospitals’ and physicians’ compliance. “Widespread failure to meet meaningful use due to unrealistic regulatory requirements and insufficient technology will undermine hospitals’ ability to use EHRs to improve care and involve patients in their care,” the AHA wrote. Thus, quick release of a Final rule is necessary.

Companies: American Hospital Association

MainStory: TopStory ComplianceNews EHRNews HITNews IPPSNews HIPAANews

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