Upgrade Your EHR Before It’s Too Late
By David Doolittle

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If you participate in Medicaid and/or Medicare incentive payment programs, time is running out to upgrade to the 2015 certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT).

Starting this year, the 2015 CEHRT is required for physicians who participate in Medicaid EHR Incentive Program and/or the Promoting Interoperability performance category of Medicare’s Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or alternative payment models (APMs), both under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Promoting Interoperability (formerly Meaningful Use and then Advancing Care Information) is one of four MIPS performance categories that affect a physician’s future Medicare payments. The others are quality, cost, and care improvement activities. Each category is individually weighted to determine physicians’ total quality score – and ultimately payment – in MIPS. 

If you use your electronic health record (EHR) to report for all performance categories, you will need the 2015 CEHRT for the full year as the quality category requires full calendar-year reporting. At minimum, the Promoting Interoperability and improvement activities categories require a continuous 90-day reporting period. So theoretically you could upgrade in time to start using it by Oct. 1 – about 90 days before year’s end. 

Physicians reporting their quality data or improvement activities through some means other than an EHR, such as a qualified clinical data registry (QCDR), are not affected by this upgrade requirement.

TMA’s practice management consultants can provide customized on-site assistance to help your practice implement or transition to the upgraded EHR. They also can help guide you through successful reporting through MIPS and educate staff on the purpose, process, and potential outcomes of taking part in the quality reporting system.

TMA Practice Consulting provides services to TMA members at below-market rates. For more information, contact TMA Practice Consulting at (800) 523-8776 or via email.

For other questions about technology and the EHR Incentive Programs, contact TMA's HIT Department by telephone at (800) 880-5720 or by email.

Last Updated On

August 28, 2019

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David Doolittle

Editor

(512) 370-1385

Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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