The government seems to have done it yet again. First with ICD-10 and now with Meaningful Use … it’s creating more difficulty and expense for healthcare facilities.
On Aug. 29, 2014 the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued a final rule that allows providers participating in the EHR Incentive Programs to use the 2011 Edition of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for calendar and fiscal year 2014. While it provides some flexibility, it contains some onerous provisions.
Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) responded on Aug. 29 with the following statement:
“This afternoon the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) finalized a regulation granting providers additional flexibility in meeting Meaningful Use (MU) requirements in 2014. However, the final rule lacked a key provision that would ensure continued EHR adoption and MU participation.”
Of significance is that the rule requires a 365-day attestation period in 2015. Currently the attestation period to meet Meaningful Use criteria is 90 days. I believe many facilities will have great difficulty in meeting the criteria and consequently incurring expensive penalties for failing to do so.
For example, part of MU requires 5 percent of patients being discharged to access their discharge instructions online. According to Sharon Busler, Director of Health Information Management at Catholic Medical Center “There is no way to legislate patient behavior.”
Branzell further stated: “Now the very future of Meaningful Use is in question.”
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