Advocacy success: CMS final rule shortens reporting period for MU

MarcDarst-Headshot.jpg

By Marc Darst, MD
Chair, AAD EHR Implementation Task Force

In November, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule shortening the reporting period for demonstrating meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR) from one year to 90 days. In 2016, all eligible providers can attest for any continuous 90-day period from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

Establishing 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 reduce the reporting requirement to a 90-day reporting period in 2016.

In March, the Academy joined a letter to CMS requesting a 90-day reporting period. 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 AAD's grassroots efforts resulted in 1,482 letters sent to 297 Members of Congress by 418 dermatologists.

The Academy supported the legislation from the beginning and sent the letters to all original sponsors and co-sponsors. Academy grassroots was activated with an all member alert sent on April 28. The AAD's grassroots efforts resulted in 1,482 letters sent to 297 Members of Congress by 418 dermatologists.

While physicians may be breathing a sigh of relief, challenges still exist with EHR systems. Read more about the hurdles physicians and vendors have to jump through as EHR systems evolve in the September issue of Dermatology World.

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