The American Medical Association has provided ongoing input since the inception of the EHR incentive program and has urged greater flexibility to make the program more reasonable and achievable for physicians.
In a letter submitted by the AMA and signed by AMS, recommendations were outlined to eliminate physician roadblocks and encourage greater physician participation. Due to these efforts, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule outlining the requirements for the second stage of the “meaningful use” EHR Incentive Program with some significant changes. This Stage 2 rule builds on the Stage 1 requirements and outlines the payment adjustment portion of the program starting in 2015. The Stage 2 rule:
- Delays the start of Stage 2 from 2013 to 2014
- Reduces the time span over which all eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals must demonstrate meaningful use in 2014 from a full year to three months
- Requires that all EPs in their second year or more of participation report on clinical quality measure data electronically, starting in 2014
- Eliminates or combines some Stage 1 objectives
- Finalizes several categories of hardship exemptions
The CMS final rule fact sheet is available here.