The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) joined a diverse group 18 industry stakeholders urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to finalize the rule that sets meaningful use requirements for 2015 through 2017.
In May, the nation’s leading professional organization of chief information officers (CIOs) and senior IT executives in healthcare, submitted formal comments on the proposed changes to the EHR Incentive Program in which CHIME commended the agency for leading a series of changes to Meaningful Use, specifically the provision to shorten the EHR reporting period in 2015 from a full calendar year to 90 days.
“The additional time proposed by the modifications rule could help hundreds of thousands of providers meet meaningful use requirements in an effective and safe manner. However, we are just 61 days away from the end of the fiscal year, and the final quarter of 2015, yet hospitals and physicians are without the rules outlining the requirements for participation in the program this year,” said Leslie Krigstein, Interim Vice President of Public Policy for CHIME.
While, the efforts of CMS to simplify meaningful use in the 2015-2017 Modifications Rule are welcomed – and will be a key contributor to the ongoing success of the program – “providers and technology developers need to have the certainty now that comes with a Final Rule in order to be able to meet the reporting deadlines for 2015 and continue participation in the program,” stated the stakeholder group, which included provider and vendor representatives.
Unfortunately with the end of the fiscal year CIOs are finding themselves questioning their ability to successfully participate in the meaningful use program if the rules are not released quickly.
“CMS offered many beneficial changes in the proposed Modifications Rule, yet the delayed release may impede providers’ ability to not only take advantage of the proposed changes, but ultimately jeopardize their participation in the 2015 program year,” said Krigstein.
“Immediate clarity on the expectations for providers in 2015 is the best hope for enabling success in the meaningful use program this year.”
Citing the end of the fiscal year approaching, the letter states, “If providers do not receive the Final Rule shortly, it will be very difficult to make workflow adjustments in a timely manner to meet programmatic deadlines and facilitate Meaningful Use tracking and reporting.”