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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced modifications to Meaningful Use objectives for the current reporting years of 2016 and 2017, along with Stage 3 criteria.
According to the CMS, several changes in objectives have occurred for Stage 2 attestation. Eligible professionals in Stage 1 will be able to modify requirements that are only Stage 2 specific, and threshold percentages will be lower. In addition, those in Stage 1 may be exclude some requirements in Stage 1, if there is no Stage 2 equivalent.
Here are some key pieces of information from the CMS:
- Stage 2 Patient Electronic Access, Measure 2: For 2015, instead of the five percent threshold, this measure requires that at least one patient seen by the eligible professional during the EHR reporting period (or patient authorized representative) views, downloads, or transmits to a third party his or her health information during the EHR reporting period.
- Stage 2 Secure Electronic Messaging: The 5 percent threshold has been changed to the Stage 2 capability for patients to send and receive a secure electronic message with the eligible professional was fully enabled during the EHR reporting period.
- Public Health Reporting: The public health reporting objectives have been consolidated into one objective with three measure options for eligible professionals. If scheduled to be in Stage 2, the eligible professional must meet two of the three. They must be in active engagement with a public health agency to submit immunization data, syndromic surveillance, or a specialized registry. (unless the state isn't ready, then they can exclude on the one that's not ready.) If scheduled to be in Stage 1, they need to meet one of the three options.
- Despite the change to a 90-day EHR reporting period in 2015, providers will not be able to attest to Meaningful Use for an EHR reporting period in 2015 prior to January 4, 2016.
- If you're new to the Meaningful Use program and attest successfully, you'll avoid payment reductions for 2016 and 2017. If you're returning and are successful, you'll avoid the 2017 adjustment.
Read the reactions from CHIME to the MU final rules.