EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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Hospital Stage 2 Meaningful Use Attestations Near 77 Percent

Hospital Stage 2 Meaningful Use Attestations Near 77 Percent | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

The most recent update from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) puts the percentage of hospitals eligible having successfully attested to Stage 2 Meaningful Use at 77 percent.

In latest monthly meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee, Elisabeth Holland of the CMS Office of E-Health Standards and Services (OESS) reported that 1814 of 2115 eligible hospitals (EHs) had attested to Stage 2 Meaningful Use during the 2014 period as of the first of the year.

In late November, the federal agency extended the 2014 meaningful reporting deadline until December 31, giving these eligible providers an additional month to complete their 2014 meaningful use attestation.

Over that one-month period, the number of EHs successfully attesting for meaningful use reporting year 2014 rose from 3696 to 4093, with the EHs successfully attesting to Stage 2 Meaningful Use increasing from 1681 to 1814.

The total number of hospital attestations is slightly less than last year’s mark of 4112 total attestations for this portion of eligible providers.

During December’s meeting, the federal agency reported that number of EHs having successfully attested to Stage 2 Meaningful Use as of December 1 doubled from 840 to 1681.

The update comes one day after a group of industry associations voiced their support of a reintroduced bill to modify 2015 meaningful use reporting requirements, the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act of 2015 that would require a 90-day, quarter-based reporting period rather than a full year of reporting this year.

Support for the bill was bolstered by CMS data indicating that one-third of hospitals expected to demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014 had to file for a hardship exception or meet Stage 1 requirements again, yet these figures and those provided yesterday by CMS do not add up.

Speaking of bad math, there is CMS data on eligible professionals over the same timeframe that raises questions. As of January 1, a total of 76,730 EPs demonstrated meaningful use in 2014, up from 60,561 EPs as of December 1. As for Stage 2, CMS data from the Health IT Policy Committee meeting incorrectly shows a decrease in successful 2014 Stage 2 Meaningful Use attestations — 16,455 to 16,359. (CMS is currently correcting those figures which will be made available shortly.)

The meaningful use attestation deadline for these eligible providers is set for the end of February. The number of EPs attesting to Stage 2 Meaningful Use has ample time to increase.


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Tumbling Dice and Meaningful Use in 2015

Tumbling Dice and Meaningful Use in 2015 | EHR and Health IT Consulting | Scoop.it

Now I’m not a betting man. I’ve been to Las Vegas only once and was fortunate enough to escape with both my dignity and bank account intact. The old timers say, “better to be lucky than good” and they just may be right. The Meaningful Use (MU) dice are rolling and tumbling right now and they just might come up “box cars” (double sixes). The odds are starting to look good for a reprieve for those eligible providers who are hoping to get a roll back on the full year requirements for MU in 2015. I put the odds at greater than 50%.

Many of the medical associations, especially on the hospital side, are pushing levers and pulling strings to remove the requirement for the full year MU requirement in 2015. The CMS EHR Incentive program has moved passed the big incentives and entered the territory of penalties and “fee adjustments”. Things are getting serious, big money is on the table and voices are being raised. The regulatory entities of CMS and ONC are aware of the issue but are often beyond the reach of lobbyists and other forms of pressure to make adjustments. We only have to look back at the most recent delay in the ICD-10 to see real power at work. That delay was delivered on a silver plate in the dark of night. If you are interested in the details of how that took place take a look at my post from last spring, Power Politics and the Hijacking of Healthcare Policy.

A bill was introduced in congress in 2014 that was a mirror image of the process that brought us the ICD-10 delay. The goal was to block the requirement for any provider, no matter the MU Stage, to have to have a full year reporting period in 2015. It was short and sweet with fewer sentences than the fingers on your hand. “…Secretary of Health and Human Services shall continue through 2015 (in the case of eligible professionals) and fiscal year 2015 (in the case of eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals) to permit the use of a 3-month quarter EHR reporting period to demonstrate meaningful use for purposes of such part, without regard to the payment year or the stage of meaningful use criteria involved.” The standard bearer for this bill was Congresswoman Renee Ellmers of North Carolina. The bill garnered quite a few co-sponsors, had a shot at passage, but missed by not being included in an emergency appropriation bill in December. 2015 is a new year with a new Congress and I expect similar legislation will be coming soon. The drum beat continues and the dice are tumbling. I’m thinking Lady Luck is on the side of the providers.


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