Physicians who already participate in the EHR incentive program for meaningful use will have to demonstrate they are meaningful users for only 90 days in 2016 and 2017.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized the 90-day reporting period in its annual update to the hospital outpatient prospective payment system, scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on Nov. 14.
The CMS was preparing to require a full year of reporting in 2017 to be eligible for bonuses under the EHR Incentive Program; but instead extended the 90-day reporting requirement to address concerns about technical functionalities and to help ease the transition to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) created by the 2015 MACRA law, according to an agency fact sheet.
The Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) final rule also eliminated clinical decision support and computerized order entry objectives and measures for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals.
Instead of requiring that eligible professionals and hospitals new to the EHR Incentive Program in 2017 to meet Stage 3 requirements, the CMS has provided modified Stage 2 requirements.
Physicians who are new to the EHR Incentive Program in 2017 but are transitioning their practice to MIPS next year can apply for a significant hardship exemption to avoid any penalties to their 2018 Medicare payments.