Meaningful Use, News Events

Changes to Meaningful Use Reporting in 2015

New rules expected to arrive sometime this spring should reduce the 2015 Meaningful Use reporting period to just 90 days from the previously required full year. Many hospitals and health IT organizations were clamoring for a change to reduce the reporting burden for eligible providers and hospitals.

This change and the other proposals listed below will potentially help many providers who have already made steps towards implementing EHR systems but were not capable of reporting for the full year.

  • Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other quality program.
  • Modifying other aspects of the programs to match long-term goals, reduce complexity and lessen providers’ reporting burden

The new rules are a welcome reaction to a letter written to CMS this past September co-signed by healthcare industry heavyweights CHIME, HIMSS, MGMA, AHA, and the AMA, urging the agency to address 2015 reporting period requirements. While adoption of EHRs has risen steadily since the first year of the EHR Incentive Program, many providers are struggling to provide all the necessary information in the time frame required. The letter proposed that HHS should “provide for a shortened, 90-day EHR reporting period in 2015, which would give time for providers to continue their transition without having to drop out of the program.”

The new rule “would be intended to be responsive to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other related concerns in 2015,” wrote Patrick Conway, MD, chief medical officer at CMS, in a Jan. 29 blog post announcing the agency’s decision. “It would also be intended to propose changes reflective of developments in the industry and progress toward program goals achieved since the program began in 2011.”



Education, HIPAA / HITECH Enforcement, Meaningful Use

HITECH Meaningful Use – The Past is not Behind Us

ImageMany healthcare providers have said goodbye to HITECH’s meaningful use stage 1 to pursue the stage 2 requirements.  However, the future is not a stranger to its predecessor, requiring a better realization of concepts and metrics of many standards in stage 1.

Stage 1 was the beginning of HITECH’s transformative approach to health care, requiring movement to electronic health records (EHRs) and more efficient transmission and use of the EHRs, which is proving to be beneficial to patients and their care as evidenced by the ease of e-prescribing.  To ensure continuous progress of realizing the vision of greater health information effectiveness, care providers must continue to raise the bar and push for increasing processes such as e-prescribing and introducing processes that share care information with other relative providers while still maintaining the privacy and security standards for patient information.

This stage also solidifies new requirements such as bringing patient health records to the world of internet accessibility and giving the patients greater insight into their own health information.  This increases the potential risks for the providers despite the convenience and usefulness of the program as a whole.  Incurring this additional risk will require organizations to perform additional risk analysis to stay in front of the threats and ensure that best practices are followed while encrypting information in storage and transit as well as working with clients to raise awareness of information security.

Stage 2 will bring a new planning phase, but also a new cycle in the life of what should be a living process.  If you are struggling to optimize your process, let RISC Management help you maximize the potential of meaningful use stage 1 while developing a secure plan and foundation for the new requirements in stage 2.Image

Sponsored by: RISC Management,