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Low 2014 MU 2 Attestation Numbers Validate Need for Shortened Reporting Period in 2015

CHIME reiterates call to HHS for immediate, sensible action
ANN ARBOR, MI, December 9, 2014 – As substandard Meaningful Use attestation figures for program year 2014 continue, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) reiterated its call to immediately shorten the reporting period for 2015.

According to the data, released today by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) during the Health IT Policy Committee meeting, less than 35 percent of the nation’s hospitals have met Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements. And while eligible professionals (EPs) have until the end of February to report their progress, just 4 percent have met Stage 2 requirements thus far.

“Despite policy efforts to mitigate a disastrous program year, today’s release of participation data confirms widespread challenges with Stage 2 Meaningful Use,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.

Roughly 1 in 3 hospitals scheduled to meet Stage 2 in 2014 had to use alternative pathways to meet MU, administrative data current through December 1 indicates.

“This trend demonstrates how vital new flexibilities were in 2014 and again, underscores the need for the same flexibility in 2015,” said Branzell. “It is imperative officials take immediate action to put this critical transformation program back on track. Shortening the time frame for MU reporting in 2015 will help to ensure the program delivers on its promise to advance the transformation of healthcare in this country.”

CHIME and several other national provider associations have repeatedly told CMS that without more program flexibility and a shortened reporting period in 2015, the future of Meaningful Use is in jeopardy.

CMS data indicates that more than 3,900 hospitals must meet Stage 2 measures and objectives in 2015 and more than 260,000 EPs will need to be similarly positioned by January 1, 2015. Given the low attestation data for 2014 and the tremendous number of providers required to meet Stage 2 for a full 365-days in 2015, leaders in the Congress have pressed for a shortened reporting period in 2015 with the introduction of H.R. 5481, theFlexibility in Health IT Reporting Act, or Flex-IT Act.

“CHIME commends Representatives Renee Ellmers and Jim Matheson for their steadfast leadership and continued support for a 90-day reporting period in 2015,” said Branzell. “Swift passage of the Flex-IT bill before Congress adjourns will provide the certainty that healthcare providers deserve to ensure the safe implementation and use of their EHR systems.”

Representative Ellmers (R-NC-2) and Representative Matheson (D-UT-4) introduced H.R. 5481, the Flex-IT Act, in mid-September with resounding support from industry groups including CHIME, American Medical Association (AMA), American Hospital Association (AHA) and Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The bipartisan bill has reached over 21 cosponsors since being introduced.

Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestation Numbers

 

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 140 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

December 9, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Disappointing Meaningful Use Data Prompts Industry Leaders to Urge HHS to Take Immediate Action

WASHINGTON, DC November 4, 2014 –  Healthcare leaders from across the nation today renewed calls for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) to shorten the Meaningful Use (MU) reporting period in 2015 and provide more program flexibility, citing concerns with lower-than-expected Medicare numbers and continued reports detailing nationwide difficulty in meeting Federal guidelines for electronic health records (EHR) requirements.

According to newly released CMS numbers, less than 17 percent of the nation’s hospitals have demonstrated Stage 2 capabilities. Further, less than 38 percent of eligible hospitals (EHs) and critical access hospitals (CAHs) have met either Stage of Meaningful Use in 2014, highlighting the difficulty of program requirements and foretelling continued struggles in 2015.  And while eligible professionals (EPs) have until the end of February to report their progress, only 2 percent have demonstrated Stage 2 capabilities thus far.

Officials from the American Medical Association (AMA), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) called the results disappointing, yet predictable.

“Meaningful Use participation data released today have validated the concerns of providers and IT leaders.  These numbers continue to underscore the need for a sensible glide-path in 2015,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “Providers have struggled mightily in 2014, in many instances for reasons beyond their control.  If nothing is done to help them get back on track in 2015, we will continue to see growing dissatisfaction with EHRs and disenchantment with Meaningful Use.”

CMS data required by Congress indicate that more than 3,900 hospitals must meet Stage 2 measures and objectives in 2015 and more than 260,000 eligible professionals (EPs) will need to be similarly positioned by January 1, 2015.  Given the low attestation data for 2014 and the tremendous number of providers required, but likely unable to fulfill, Stage 2 for a full 365-days in 2015, healthcare leaders have pressed for a shortened reporting period in 2015, mirroring the policy of 2014.

“The low number of EP attestations to date is clear evidence that physician practices and their vendor partners have faced significant challenges in meeting the more onerous Stage 2 requirements of meaningful use,” said Anders M. Gilberg, Senior Vice President, government affairs, MGMA. “Shortening the reporting period in 2015 is a much needed change if the program is to remain viable and is a critical step if the nation is to continue making progress toward the goal of interoperability.”

“We’re focused on transforming health and healthcare,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President of HIMSS.  “Meaningful Use Stage 2 and 2014 certified EHR technology are important drivers toward that outcome.  If CMS continues to require a full-year of Meaningful Use reporting for 2015, we anticipate that large segments of providers will no longer be able to participate in the program-which hinders our nation’s ability to improve the quality, safety, cost-effectiveness, and access to care.”

A coalition of national provider groups have repeatedly told CMS that a shortened reporting period will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015.  Additionally, allowing flexibility in how providers meet the Stage 2 requirements, particularly related to Transitions of Care and View, Download, Transmit measures would also improve program participation.

“In addition to a shortened reporting period, CMS must end its one-size-fits all approach to achieve the goals of the Meaningful Use program, which are to create a secure and interoperable infrastructure,” said AMA President Elect Steven J. Stack, MD. “The AMA recently released a blueprint to outline ways to improve the Meaningful Use program, as well as a framework outlining eight priorities for more usable EHRs. We believe the stringent pass fail requirements for meeting Meaningful Use, combined with a tsunami of other overlapping regulations, are keeping physicians from participating in the Meaningful Use program.”

In response to a CMS final rule issued in September, provider groups sent a letter to Health and Human Service Secretary Burwell saying additional time would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.  Further, the group of nearly twenty national provider organizations said a shortened reporting period and flexibility on the Transitions of Care and View, Download, Transmit measures would serve as positive incentive for those who must seek alternative paths to MU in 2014 to continue their work in 2015.

“The agency’s decision to require a full-year of reporting using 2014 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) in 2015 puts many eligible hospitals and physicians at risk of not meeting Meaningful Use next year and hinders the forward trajectory of the program,” the letter states.

November 4, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

ADP AdvancedMD EHR Receives ONC-ACB Certification by Drummond Group

ADP AdvancedMD continues efforts to help small medical practices earn maximum government incentives and avoid future penalties

Salt Lake City, UT – (September 17, 2014)ADP® AdvancedMD a leader in all-in-one, cloudelectronic health records (EHR), practice management, medical scheduling, medical billing services as well as a pioneer of big data reporting and business intelligence for smaller medical practices, today announced it has been tested and certified under the Drummond Group’s Electronic Health Records Office of the National Coordinator Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB) program. ADP AdvancedMD EHR software is compliant in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Drummond Group’s ONC-ACB certification program certifies that EHRs meet the meaningful use criteria for either eligible provider or hospital technology. In turn, healthcare providers using the EHR systems of certified vendors are qualified to receive federal stimulus monies upon demonstrating meaningful use of the technology – a key component of the federal government’s push to improve clinical care delivery through the adoption and effective use of EHRs by U.S. healthcare providers.

Maintaining compliance in the ever-changing regulatory landscape is increasingly demanding for independent medical practices. As one of the earliest providers of true software-as-a-service (SaaS) medical office software, ADP AdvancedMD offers speed and savings related to updates and upgrades with all users so they are automatically and continuously upgraded to the latest version as part of their monthly subscription.

ADP AdvancedMD EHR, version 2014.1, which meets the requirements for a Complete EHR, provides the independent physician with clinical solutions to manage patient care from anywhere with improved workflow efficiency and operational control. Flexible and customizable patient encounter documentation can be configured to complement broad work style and clinical approaches.

“This certification wasn’t about getting a checkbox or a listing on the ONC website as much as we felt it an opportunity to help our independent physician customers engage in the benefits of MU2,” said Raul Villar, president, ADP AdvancedMD. “The additions we’ve made to our product suite will help propel independent physicians into the next generation of healthcare IT in a way that previously was unavailable to them. We are proud to be the engine to empower that transition and transformation for our customers. We see this as the beginning, not the finish line.”

This Complete EHR is 2014 Edition compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ACB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments. As a cloud technology, ADP AdvancedMD is an all-inclusive product and service. There is a one-time setup fee that covers the implementation and training. The monthly service fee is comprehensive and there are no additional costs that an eligible provider would pay to implement for the purposes of achieving meaningful use. Interface development, configuration, or other required patient services might require additional fees.

Certification of EHR Compliance

  • ADP AdvancedMD EHR v2014.1
  • Certification Number: 09112014?2755?1
  • Certification date: September 11, 2014
  • Modules Tested: 170.314 (a)(1?15); (b)(1?5, 7); (c)(1?3); (d)(1?9); (e)(1?3); (f)(1?3); (g)(2?4)
  • Clinical Quality Measures tested: 50v2; 68v3; 69v2; 75v2; 90v3; 122v2; 123v2; 126v2; 127v2; 131v2; 138v2; 139v2; 146v2; 154v2; 155v2; 156v2; 165v2; 166v3
  • Additional software used: Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability

About ADP

With more than $12 billion in revenues and 65 years of experience, ADP® (Nasdaq: ADP) serves approximately 637,000 clients in more than 125 countries.  As one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing and Human Capital Management solutions, ADP offers a wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  ADP’s easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes.  ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the world.  For more information about ADP, visit the company’s Web site at www.ADP.com

The ADP logo and ADP are registered trademarks of ADP, LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2014 ADP, LLC.

About Drummond Group Inc.
Drummond Group Inc. is a global software test and certification lab that serves a wide range of vertical industries.  In healthcare, Drummond Group tests and certifies Controlled Substance Ordering Systems (CSOS), Electronic Prescription of Controlled Substances (EPCS) software and processes, and Electronic Health Records (EHRs) – designating the trusted test lab as the only third-party certifier of all three initiatives designed to move the industry toward a digital future. Founded in 1999, and accredited for the Office of the National Coordinator HIT Certification Program as an Authorized Certification Body (ACB) and an Accredited Test Lab (ATL), Drummond Group continues to build upon its deep experience and expertise necessary to deliver reliable and cost-effective services. For more information, please visithttp://www.drummondgroup.com or email DGI@drummondgroup.com.

September 17, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CHIME Statement on the Introduction of the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act

This afternoon Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT) introduced the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act granting the nation’s healthcare providers the additional flexibility in meeting Meaningful Use requirements through a shortened reporting period in 2015.

CHIME commends Congresswoman Ellmers and Congressman Matheson for their immense leadership on this critically important issue following the industry’s joint call to action earlier today. The Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act would negate the latest final rule and adjust the program reporting timeline; giving providers the option to choose any three-month quarter for EHR reporting in 2015.

The misstep by officials to require a full-year of reporting using 2014 Edition certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) in 2015 puts many eligible hospitals and physicians at risk of not meeting Meaningful Use next year and hinders the intended impact of the program. To date; only 143 hospitals have met Stage 2 to date, representing a very small percentage of the 3,800 hospitals required to be Stage 2-ready within the next 14 days.

With just two weeks remaining in the fiscal year, Congress’ swift passage of the Flexibility in Health IT Reporting (Flex-IT) Act would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner, and ensure long-term vitality of the program itself.

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 140 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

September 16, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Industry Leaders Call for Immediate Action to Amend 2015 EHR Reporting Period

ANN ARBOR, MI, September 16, 2014 – In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS) and 15 other healthcare organizations issued an immediate call to action to adjust the 2015 EHR reporting period to help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.

Responding to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) final rule on Meaningful Use flexibility, the letter states the agency’s decision to require a full-year of reporting using 2014 Edition certified EHR technology (CEHRT) in 2015 puts many eligible hospitals and physicians at risk of not meeting Meaningful Use next year and hinders the forward trajectory of the program.

“We implore you to take immediate action by shortening the 2015 EHR reporting period to 90 days and by adding flexibility in how providers meet the Stage 2 requirements,” the letter states. “The additional time and flexibility afforded by these modifications will help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner. This will reinforce investments made to date and it will ensure continued momentum towards the goals of Stage 3, including enhanced care coordination and interoperability.”

While the final rule does provide flexibility in meeting MU requirements for 2014, most hospitals who take advantage of the new pathways will not be in a position to meet Stage 2 requirements beginning October 1, 2014 (FY 2015).

“With just two weeks to go before the start of Fiscal Year 2015, immediate attention to this requirement is essential,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO. “There are thousands of hospitals right now desperately trying to determine how to appropriately install and configure software for Stage 2, and how to start collecting data by the end of this month.”

The letter outlines that to date; only 143 hospitals have met Stage 2, representing a very small percentage of the 3,800 hospitals required to be Stage 2-ready within the next 14 days.

“This additional time is vitally important to ensure that hospitals and physicians continue moving forward with technology to improve patient care,” the letter states. “By making such changes, HHS would improve patient safety, without compromising momentum towards interoperability and care coordination supported by health IT.”

By adjusting the timeline, providers would have the option to choose any three-month quarter for an EHR reporting period in 2015 to qualify for Meaningful Use.

“This sensible change to the 2015 reporting period, from 365 days to 90, will ensure broad program participation and will enable providers to continue their Meaningful Use journey,” said CHIME Board Chair Randy McCleese FCHIME, LCHIME, CHCIO, Vice President of Information Services and CIO at Morehead, Kentucky-based St. Claire Regional Medical Center. “Carrying forward the 2014 policy requiring providers submit data covering one quarter of their choosing in 2015 is the right decision, and it is our hope that officials act quickly.”

CHIME leaders will reiterate this call to action as they meet with officials this week as part of National Health IT Week in Washington, D.C.

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 140 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CHIME Statement on Finalization of Meaningful Use ‘Modifications’ Rule

From Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO, President and CEO

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

CHIME is deeply disappointed in the decision made by CMS and ONC to require 365-days of EHR reporting in 2015. This single provision has severely muted the positive impacts of this final rule. Further, it has all but ensured that industry struggles will continue well beyond 2014.

Roughly 50% of EHs and CAHs were scheduled to meet Stage 2 requirements this year and nearly 85% of EHs and CAHs will be required to meet Stage 2 requirements in 2015. Most hospitals who take advantage of new pathways made possible through this final rule will not be in a position to meet Stage 2 requirements beginning October 1, 2014. This means that penalties avoided in 2014 will come in 2015, and millions of dollars will be lost due to misguided government timelines.

Nearly every stakeholder group echoed recommendations made by CHIME to give providers the option of reporting any three-month quarter EHR reporting period in 2015. This sensible recommendation, if taken, would have assuaged industry concerns over the pace and trajectory of rulemaking; it would have pushed providers to meet a higher bar, without pushing them off the cliff; and it would have ensured the long-term vitality of the program itself. Now, the very future of Meaningful Use is in question.

August 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

New CMS rule allows flexibility in certified EHR technology for 2014

Rule will help more providers use electronic health record technology

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule today that allows health care providers more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use for an EHR Incentive Program reporting period for 2014. By providing this flexibility, more providers will be able to participate and meet important meaningful use objectives like drug interaction and drug allergy checks, providing clinical summaries to patients, electronic prescribing, reporting on key public health data and reporting on quality measures.

“We listened to stakeholder feedback and provided CEHRT flexibility for 2014 to help ensure providers can continue to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs forward,” said Marilyn Tavenner, CMS administrator. “We were excited to see that there is overwhelming support for this change.”

Based on public comments and feedback from stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) identified ways to help eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) implement and meaningfully use Certified EHR Technology. Specifically, eligible providers can use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs; All eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and CAHs are required to use the 2014 Edition CEHRT in 2015.

These updates to the EHR Incentive Programs support HHS’ commitment to implementing an effective health information technology infrastructure that elevates patient-centered care, improves health outcomes, and supports the providers that care for patients.

The rule also finalizes the extension of Stage 2 through 2016 for certain providers and announces the Stage 3 timeline, which will begin in 2017 for providers who first became meaningful EHR users in 2011 or 2012.

An updated meaningful use timeline and a chart with 2011 and 2014 CEHRT Edition options are available at http://cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2014-Press-releases-items/2014-08-29.html.

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visithttp://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov/certification.

I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CHIME Supports New Pathways for Meaningful Use in 2014

Nation’s CIOs ask for swift finalization of proposed rule with ‘common sense’ amendments
ANN ARBOR, MI, June 30, 2014 - In comments submitted Friday, June 27 on proposed “Modifications to the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs for 2014,” the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) offered general support of program changes, but requested additional revisions and clarifications to maintain momentum of the federal initiative.

Comments from the professional association of healthcare CIOs and IT leaders said additional flexibility is needed because changes proposed for the Meaningful Use incentive program were only first released in late May, limiting the amount of time providers have to react to changes.

“CHIME supports the new pathways as defined in the proposed rule,” the letter read. “We believe these options will provide needed flexibility for EHR optimization, encourage continued participation in the program and help maintain the upward trajectory of EHR adoption in the US.”

One of CHIME’s primary requests is that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allow providers to choose any three-month quarter for an EHR reporting period in the next federal fiscal year or calendar year to qualify for Meaningful Use in 2015. As currently structured, the program requires providers to report a full year of data to qualify for incentives.

“We believe this change will have a dramatically positive effect on program participation and policy outcomes sought in 2015,” CHIME’s comments noted. “The additional time afforded by this modification would help hundreds of thousands of providers meet Stage 2 requirements in an effective and safe manner.”

“We are grateful for the agencies’ acknowledgement that 2014 has been an extremely challenging year for the industry,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME, CHCIO.  “The new pathways created by this NPRM will enable many hospitals and physicians to capitalize on progress made to date. However, the benefits of this new flexibility will be immediately lost if 2015 reporting requirements are not tempered.  Carrying forward the 2014 policy requiring providers submit data covering one quarter of their choosing in 2015 is common sense.”

Additional flexibility is needed because of the continued industry-wide strain to implement information technology in time to meet ongoing requirements of the program, CHIME contended. “Because there is such limited capacity for the industry to absorb ongoing technology upgrades and process changes, CHIME implores CMS to allow 3-month quarter EHR reporting options in 2015.”

CHIME’s comments also asked that the agencies delete ambiguous attestation requirements related to the definition of “fully implemented” Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT). “A number of CHIME members have indicated their apprehension to take advantage of the new pathways created by this NPRM (because of) how this proposed rule defines ‘full implementation’ of CEHRT since the examples do not adequately represent their situation,” CHIME stated.

“Given the industry’s experience with Meaningful Use audits, there is a lot of anxiety over how such a requirement would be validated,” said CHIME Board Chair Randy McCleese, FCHIME, LCHIME, CHCIO, Vice President of Information Services and CIO at Moorhead, Kentucky-based St. Claire Regional Medical Center.  “The fear generated by meaningless audits can be crippling for small and rural organizations like ours. Ambiguity in what constitutes ‘full CEHRT implementation’ defeats the primary intent of this NPRM – namely, to encourage continued participation in the program.”

Overall, CHIME believes “these new pathways will provide much-needed relief to hundreds of thousands of providers struggling to meet MU requirements in 2014, due to circumstances beyond their control,” but CHIME is asking agencies to “explicitly state its intentions to let providers meet MU requirements retrospectively in 2014, if they are able.”

Finally, CHIME offered its support of the one-year extension of Stage 2 for providers that first qualified as meaningful users of EHR technology in 2011 and 2012. “This is a necessary extension to give policymakers time to evaluate past experience and incorporate lessons learned into the third Stage of Meaningful Use,” CHIME stated.

“From Day One, CHIME has been an adamant supporter of Meaningful Use, and we remain supporters to this day,” said Branzell. “Our comments and recommendations are pragmatic and meant to ensure that industry, government and taxpayer investments are properly managed.  We are confident that if CMS makes these common sense changes, we can realize the benefits of a modern, connected healthcare system.”

The full text of CHIME’s response to the proposed modifications to the Meaningful Use program can be found at http://www.cio-chime.org/advocacy/resources/download/CHIME_Response_to_Modifications_MU_2014_Final.pdf

About CHIME
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and more than 130 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.cio-chime.org.

June 30, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

CMS Rule to Change EHR Certification Requirement and Meaningful Use Stage 2 Schedule

Rule also proposes to extend Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Programs through 2016

Today, HHS published a new proposed rule that would provide eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use. The proposed rule, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would let providers use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for the EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

Beginning in 2015, all eligible hospitals and professionals would still be required to report using 2014 Edition CEHRT. Since the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs began in 2011, more than 370,000 hospitals and professionals nationwide have received an incentive payment.

“We have seen tremendous participation in the EHR Incentive Programs since they began,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “By extending Stage 2, we are being receptive to stakeholder feedback to ensure providers can continue to meet meaningful use and keep momentum moving forward.”

The proposed rule also includes a provision that would formalize CMS and ONC’s previously stated intention to extend Stage 2 through 2016 and begin Stage 3 in 2017. These proposed changes would address concerns raised by stakeholders and will encourage the continued adoption of Certified EHR Technology.

“Increasing the adoption of EHRs is key to improving the nation’s health care system and the steps we are taking today will give new options to those who, through no fault of their own, have been unable to get the new 2014 Edition technology, including those at high risk, such as smaller providers and rural hospitals,” said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H, M.Sc., national coordinator for health information technology.

Proposed changes to meaningful use timeline

New Meaningful Use and EHR Certification Timelines - Meaningful Use Stage 2 Delay

For more information about the EHR Incentive Programs, please visit http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms. For more information about CEHRT, please visit http://www.healthit.gov.

May 20, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Patient Education Reference Center™ Certified to Meet Meaningful Use Stage 2 Criteria

~ Point-of-Care Resource is certified as an Electronic Health Record Module for Both Inpatient and Ambulatory Settings ~

IPSWICH, Mass. — May 16, 2014 — Patient Education Reference Center (PERC) from EBSCO Health has been certified as an Electronic Health Record (EHR) Module for both Inpatient and Ambulatory settings. PERC is compliant with the ONC 2014 Edition criteria and supports Stage 2 Meaningful Use measures required for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

PERC provides health care professionals with evidence-based patient handouts that can be customized, printed and given to a patient at the point of care. The health care provider is able to go into a patient’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and click on the Infobutton for any diagnosis, medication or lab within a given record to access relevant patient education documents for the specific patient. The materials can then be printed, saved to a patient record and/or posted to a patient portal record.

The PERC certification is in accordance with the applicable Hospital and Eligible Providers certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The ONC 2014 Edition criteria support both Stage 1 and 2 Meaningful Use measures required to qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under ARRA.

EBSCO Vice President of Medical Product Management and Chief Content Officer Betsy Jones says that by meeting Meaningful Use Stage 2 Criteria and providing access to patient education content via the HL7 Infobutton Standard, PERC is now even more of an asset for healthcare providers. “PERC has always helped health care professionals by providing customized handouts that can be given to a patient at the point-of-care. Now PERC allows providers to continue to provide the valuable information conveniently through EMRs while also helping institutions comply with Meaningful Use requirements.”

The handouts provided by PERC are easy to read, include illustrations, and are structured to enhance patient knowledge and understanding of material. Topics covered include more than 4,000 common and chronic diseases and conditions; over 750 specific procedures and lab tests; more than 2,800 lifestyle and wellness topics; over 1,500 unique drugs (more than 8,000 brand and generic names); and discharge and home care information for more than 1,000 related topics. For more information on PERC visit http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/patient-education-reference-center.

EBSCO Health, a part of EBSCO Information Services, has several point-of-care resources that integrate evidence-based content into EMR systems. In addition to PERC, valuable clinical content is available from DynaMedNursing Reference Center andRehabilitation Reference Center.

About EBSCO Health
EBSCO Health, part of EBSCO Information Services, is a leading provider of clinical decision support solutions, healthcare business intelligence, and medical research information for the healthcare industry. EBSCO Health users include professionals in medicine, nursing, and allied health. Flagship products include CINAHL®DynaMed,Nursing Reference Center, clinical e-books and e-journals, EBSCO Discovery Service, licensed databases (such as MEDLINE®), plus EBSCONET®. EBSCO databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the electronic resource favored by libraries around the world.

About EBSCO Information Services

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) is the world’s premier database aggregator, offering a suite of more than 375 full-text and secondary research databases. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals, magazines, books, monographs, reports and various other publication types from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all medical professionals (doctors, nurses, medical librarians, social workers, hospital administrators, etc.). The company’s product lines include proprietary databases such as CINAHL®DynaMedNursing Reference CenterPatient Education Reference CenterRehabilitation Reference CenterRehabilitation & Sports Medicine Source and SocINDEX as well as dozens of leading licensed databases such as MEDLINE®PsycARTICLES® and PsycINFO®. Databases are powered by EBSCOhost®, the most-used for-fee electronic resource in libraries around the world. For more information, visit the EBSCO website at: www.ebsco.com.

May 16, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.