CHA News Article

CMS Finalizes Updates to EHR Incentive Program Requirements
Rule finalizes extension of meaningful use stage 2, CEHRT flexibility

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the attached final rule extending stage 2 of meaningful use through federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016 and delaying the start of stage 3 until FFY 2017. The rule also grants flexibility to providers who are unable to fully implement the 2014 Edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for an electronic health record (EHR) reporting period in 2014 due to delays in 2014 Edition CEHRT availability. For 2014 participation, providers may now use EHRs that have been certified under the 2011 Edition, a combination of the 2011 and 2014 editions, or the 2014 Edition. CHA reminds hospitals that failure to attest to meaningful use will result in a 25 percent reduction in their market basket update in FFY 2015 and a 50 percent reduction in FFY 2016.

In comments on the proposed rule, CHA urged CMS to allow for a transition period in 2015 that would require only a 90-day reporting time frame and not to finalize the start of stage 3 for FFY 2017. In the final rule, CMS acknowledges these comments but finalizes the rule as proposed.