CMS Has Yet to Publish 2015 Meaningful Use Final Rule

In April 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed modifications to the meaningful use program rules that would affect the 2015-17 reporting periods. Until the final rule is published, CMS cannot retool its systems to accept a 90-day reporting period, and the patient engagement measures cannot be reduced as proposed. 

The proposed rule recommended the following key changes to the program:  

  • Reduce the 2015 reporting period from a full year to any 90 days; 
  • Change the patient electronic access measure from 5 percent to 1 or more; and 
  • Change the patient electronic messaging measure from 5 percent to a yes-or-no measure stating the "functionality is fully enabled."   

The American Medical Association is calling on CMS to create an automatic hardship exemption for physicians who did not have the opportunity to report successfully this year. 

"The AMA welcomed and supported the proposed changes, but it’s now Oct. 1 and CMS has left physicians without any guidance or assurances that they will be capable of meeting program requirements before the end of the year,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD."

TMA submitted comments to CMS indicating agreement with the proposed changes and the relaxation of measures that proved especially difficult for some physicians.   

On Sept. 3, CMS delivered the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget, which is the final step before the final rule is published.  

TMA staff continue to anxiously await publication of these final rules so physicians can move forward with their 2015 attestation. Watch for news in future editions of Action regarding publication of the final rule.  

If you have questions about the meaningful use program or other practice technologies, contact TMA's Health Information Technology Department by emailing hit[at]texmed[dot]org or by calling (800) 880-5720.  

Action, Oct. 1, 2015

Last Updated On

October 01, 2015

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