CMS adds flexibility in EHR meaningful-use rule
The CMS finalized a rule allowing hospitals and eligible professionals more flexibility in how they meet meaningfuluse requirements for the electronic health-record incentive program.
The agency had first put forth the concept in a May proposal. Friday’s final rule left that proposal unchanged.
The rule would grant providers a longer timeline and more flexibility in meeting incentive goals laid out by the program.
The rule pushes back the beginning of the third stage of meaningful use for the first cohort of adopters until Jan. 1, 2017, as opposed to the previous date of Jan. 1, 2016. Also, some providers struggling with adoption of 2014 certified EHRs will be granted more flexibility. Providers essentially now have an extra year to use 2011 Edition software. The final rule notes that availability of technology was constrained because of late certification and high demand.
The American Hospital Association’s Chantal Worzala, director of policy, said in a statement: “The AHA appreciates the flexibility offered by CMS today. Unfortunately, this rule offers little relief because CMS did not grant a shorter reporting period for FY 2015, which begins on Oct. 1.”