Advocacy success: CMS releases proposed rule that would maintain 90-day reporting period for MU

MarcDarst-Headshot.jpgBy Marc Darst, MD
Chair, AAD EHR Implementation Task Force

Earlier this month, CMS released a proposed rule that would maintain a 90-day reporting period for the EHR Meaningful Use (MU) program in 2016. Maintaining a 90-day reporting period for the MU Program in 2016 has been a top priority for the Academy. As part of the FLEX-IT Coalition, the Academy has been engaged with CMS and Congress since the start of the year to move from the full year of reporting requirement to a 90-day reporting period for MU in 2016.

In March, the Academy joined a letter to CMS requesting a 90-day reporting period for 2016. Due to coalition efforts, in April, Members of Congress introduced the bipartisan and bicameral (House and Senate) “Flexibility in Electronic Health Record Reporting Act” (S.2822/H.R.5001), which would allow physicians to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records in 2016 over a 90-day reporting period as opposed the previously promulgated full year reporting requirement .

The Academy supported the legislation upon introduction and sent the letters to all original sponsors and co-sponsors. Academy grassroots was activated on the legislation with an all member alert sent on April 28. The legislation’s introduction as well as the grassroots action was featured in Dermatology World Weekly on April 27. The grassroots activity resulted in 1,482 letters sent to 297 Members of Congress by 418 dermatologists.

In addition to shortening the MU reporting period, CMS seeks to change payment for off-campus hospital-owned physician practices to be in line with independently-owned physician practices. If finalized, this change would be implemented January 1, 2017.

The Academy is advocating for CMS to finalize the 90-day reporting period quickly. If there isn’t prompt resolution on the rule, the Academy will urge Congress for a hardship exemption delay, as we did in 2015.

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