The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Stage 2 requirements for its Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs last week. Stage 2 of Meaningful Use will begin in 2014. The Final Rule was released after reviewing extensive comments the AAN submitted on the Stage 2 Proposed Rule in May, along with comments from other professional organizations, hospitals and eligible providers, and EHR vendors.
In the first year of participation, eligible professionals must demonstrate meaningful use of their EHR for a 90-day reporting period and for a full calendar year each subsequent year. However, CMS has finalized that for 2014 only, all providers regardless of their stage of meaningful use are only required to demonstrate meaningful use for a 90-day reporting period. This is to align with existing CMS quality measurement programs such as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and to ensure providers who must upgrade their 2014 Certified EHR Technology have adequate time for implementation.
Click here to access the CMS Stage 2 Overview.
Core and Menu Measures
In Stage 2, physicians are required to meet 17 core measures and an additional 3 measures selected from a menu set of six measures. In comparison to Stage 1, nearly all core and menu measures are included in Stage 2, as well as many Stage 1 measures being combined under Stage 2. Click here to see a comparison of the Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives.
Clinical Quality Measures
Beginning in 2014, eligible professionals must report on a total of 9 Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) from at least 3 National Quality Strategy domains, selecting from a list of 64 CQMs across 6 domains. Alternatively, eligible professionals can satisfy the CQM reporting component of Meaningful Use if they satisfactorily report CQMs under the PQRS-EHR Reporting Option. Reporting periods under the PQRS-EHR Reporting Option are subject to the PQRS program of one calendar year. Those who are in their first year of participation will need to submit their CQMs through the attestation process. For more information on the 2014 CQMs, click here.
Medicare EHR Incentive Program Penalty Phase
A penalty of 1.0% will begin being assessed on January 1, 2015 for those who are not successful in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, and continue to increase in subsequent years.
For more information on the future payment adjustments, click here.
The following hardship exemptions have been finalized in the Stage 2 Final Rule:
For more information on the hardship exemptions, click here.
Physicians who do not meet the eligibility requirements due to performing 90-percent or more of covered professional services in the inpatient or emergency department of the hospital are considered exempt. However, if eligibility status changes the physician may be subject to penalties in the relevant year, so CMS has advised physicians to check their hospital-based status on the Medicare EHR Incentive Programs Registration System page at https://ehrincentives.cms.gov/.
The AAN will continue providing its members with up-to-date information and assistance in preparing for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. For more information, visit www.aan.com/go/practice/pay/ehr.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this posting are those of the author only and do not represent the views of the American Academy of Neurology or any of its affiliated subsidiaries.
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