What’s In Store for Meaningful Use

Added on Mar 1, 2016

What's In Store for Meaningful Use
From Industry Edge February 2016

At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt spoke candidly about the future of the Meaningful Use program, acknowledging that the program has not always been well designed and that, going forward, CMS plans to focus heavily more on measures of patient outcomes than on measures of “clicks”.

In his comments, Slavitt referenced the Meaningful Use program as it applies to eligible professionals, and how requirements may change as it is transitioned into the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

In a blog published later in January, CMS reiterated its commitment to creating a better set of requirements within MIPS that will focus on patient outcomes. However, CMS also reminded the industry that existing regulations for both hospitals and eligible professionals are still in effect, including those governing Meaningful Use Stage 3.

In addition, CMS clarified the streamlined process to apply for a hardship exemption from Meaningful Use in 2015. Eligible Professionals have until March 15, 2016, to submit, while Eligible Hospitals and Critical Access Hospitals have until April 1, 2016. Regardless of how CMS changes the Meaningful Use program, the requirements to submit quality data via electronic clinical quality measures (eCQMs) will likely grow in emphasis. Currently eCQMs attestation and submission are required in the Meaningful Use program and the Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) program, respectively.