Some Good News for Our Members and All Providers

Dr Jay HenryBy Dr. Jay Henry – CMS is extending the deadline for Eligible Professionals (EPs) to attest to Meaningful Use (MU) for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program 2013 reporting year from 11:59 p.m. ET on February 28, 2014, to 11:59 p.m. ET March 31, 2014. This extension does not impact the deadlines for the Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.

Additionally, 2014 is a special reporting year. All EPs regardless of stage will be required to meet and report on MU for a quarter for 2014. It is locked to a calendar quarter for Medicare but not for Medicaid.

CMS announced its intent to change the Meaningful Use Stage 3 timeline, as well as extend Stage 2 through 2016. However, please note:

  • This does not delay the start of Stage 2 Meaningful Use that began Jan. 1, 2014.
  • This does not affect the current reporting periods and deadlines for 2014 participation.

What This Means for Providers

If you begin with your first year of Stage 1 for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014:

  • You must begin your 90 days of Meaningful Use Stage 1 no later than July 1, 2014, and submit attestation by Oct. 1, 2014, to avoid the 2015 payment adjustment. Consequently, providers who start their 90-day Stage 1 reporting in 2014 will have to attest before October 2014 to avoid 2015 and 2016 penalties.
  • 2014 is the last year a Medicare provider can start the program.

If you have completed Year 1 of Stage 1 Meaningful Use:

  • You will demonstrate a second year of Stage 1 Meaningful Use in 2014 for a three-month reporting period fixed to the quarter for Medicare or any 90 days for Medicaid.
  • You will demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use for two years – 2015 and 2016.
  • You will begin Stage 3 Meaningful Use in 2017.

If you have completed two or more years of Stage 1 Meaningful Use:

  • You will still demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use in 2014 for a three-month reporting period fixed to the quarter for Medicare or any 90 days for Medicaid.
  • You will demonstrate Stage 2 Meaningful Use for three years – 2014, 2015, and 2016.
  • You will begin Stage 3 Meaningful Use in 2017.

Some Statistics

  • More than 93 percent of all eligible hospitals have registered to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs.
  • Approximately 82 percent of all EPs have registered to participate in the EHR Incentive Programs.
  • More than 61 percent of all Medicare EPs who have received an EHR incentive payment are non-primary care.

PQRS has changed for 2014

Most PQRS reporting options require an EP or group practice to report nine or more measures covering at least three National Quality Strategy (NQS) domains for incentive purposes.

The domains associated with the measures are as follows:

  • Patient Safety
  • Person and Caregiver-Centered Experience and Outcomes
  • Communication and Care Coordination
  • Effective Clinical Care
  • Community/Population Health
  • Efficiency and Cost Reduction

To be a successful PQRS provider during 2014 and receive the incentive payment, you must submit nine PQRS measures half the time that they apply based on diagnosis code and procedure code.  You can avoid the 2016 payment penalty (but you will not get an incentive payment nor be considered successful in terms of PQRS) by successfully submitting at least three measures 50 percent of the time that they apply.

Visit the PQRS link at http://www.ehrguru.net/ for up-to-date information and the PQRS codes that apply for ICD-9 and ICD-10 diagnosis for 2014.

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