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Congress Passes Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption Legislation

by Kaitlyn Houseman on December 21, 2015

On Friday, Congress approved legislation (S 2425) that aims to make it easier for providers to obtain hardship exemptions to Stage 2 of the meaningful use program, Health Data Management reports. The bill now heads to President Obama.

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Topics: Incentive Programs

Will EHRs and Meaningful Use Take Medical Practices Into the Future?

by Nicole Laucks on December 5, 2015

In 2009, President Obama signed the HITECH Act into law, creating a roadmap  for a nationwide health information infrastructure. The goal was to have every healthcare provider in America using electronic health records (EHRs) in such a way as to improve care quality and efficiency of care delivery. 
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Topics: EHR, Incentive Programs

What PQRS Payment Adjustments Could Mean for Your Practice

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 10, 2015

Revenue cycle management in many medical practices will soon have to take into account the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). PQRS uses payment adjustments to encourage promoting of quality information by both group practices and eligible professionals (EPs).

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Topics: PQRS, Incentive Programs

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Signed Into Law

by Keith Lage on November 10, 2015

On Monday, November 2, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Among its provisions, the two-year budget deal sets 2016 Medicare Part B premium rates, changes Medicaid rebate policy, repeals the ACA auto-enrollment requirement, and provides for a new Medicare payment policy for new outpatient providers.

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Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Medical Business, CMS, Incentive Programs

What You Need to Know to Avoid a 2% PQRS Penalty

by Kaitlyn Houseman on November 4, 2015

Healthcare revenue cycle management will undergo changes in coming years as fee-for-service payment models give way to more value-based payment models. The 
Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) began in 2007 as an incentive-based reporting program for eligible healthcare providers to report quality data to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through Medicare claims forms.

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Topics: PQRS, Incentive Programs

CMS and ONC Release Final Rules for EHR Incentive Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 7, 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently announced the release of final rules for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs and the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria. The rules will be published on October 16, 2015, and are currently on display in the Federal Register. 

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

[Infographic] How Providers are Using EHRs & Health IT to Improve Care

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 30, 2015

While some practices have denied use of an EHR, others are embracing electronic  health records software to improve patient care, revenue, communication, and participate in various government incentive programs. HealthIT.gov recently released an infographic on how providers are using EHRs and Health IT to improve patient care. In fact, 8 in 10 physicians reported that EHR use has enhanced overall patient care.

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Topics: EHR, Incentive Programs

CMS Proposed Rule to Shorten Meaningful Use Reporting Period

by Kaitlyn Houseman on April 14, 2015

CMS issued a new proposed rule for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs  to align Stage 1 and Stage 2 objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

NPRM for Stage 3 Meaningful Use & 2015 Edition Certification Criteria

by Kaitlyn Houseman on March 25, 2015

On Friday, CMS released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Stage 3, the next step in the implementation of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Concurrently, ONC also announced the proposed 2015 Edition certification criteria for health IT products. Both proposed rules focus on the interoperability of data across systems, and make the EHR Incentive Programs simpler and more flexible.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

CMS Extends EHR Attestation Deadline for Medicare Eligible Professionals

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 26, 2015


Eligible professionals now have until 11:59 pm ET on March 20, 2015to attest to meaningful use for the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program 2014 reporting year. 

CMS extended the deadline to allow providers extra time to submit their meaningful use data. CMS continues to urge providers to begin attesting for 2014 as soon as they can. 

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

CMS Considering Changes to the EHR Incentive Programs

by Kaitlyn Houseman on February 2, 2015

CMS Announces Intent to Engage in Rulemaking for EHR Incentive Program Changes for 2015

In response to input from health care providers and other stakeholders, CMS is considering the following changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Programs:

  1. Shortening the 2015 reporting period to 90 days to address provider concerns about their ability to fully deploy 2014 Edition software Electronic Health Record (EHR) 

  2. Realigning hospital reporting periods to the calendar year to allow eligible hospitals more time to incorporate 2014 Edition software into their workflows and to better align with other quality programs

  3. Modifying other aspects of the programs to match long-term goals, reduce complexity, and lessen providers’ reporting burden

These proposed changes reflect the Department of Health and Human Services’ commitment to creating a health information technology infrastructure that:
  • Elevates patient-centered care
  • Improves health outcomes
  • Supports the providers who care for patients

While CMS intends to pursue these changes through rulemaking, they will not be included in the pending Stage 3 proposed rule. CMS intends to limit the scope of the pending proposed rule to Stage 3 and meaningful use in 2017 and beyond.

Read  Dr. Conway’s blog on this announcement. Visit the  EHR Incentive Programs web page for more information.
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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Eligible Professionals 2014 EHR Attestation Deadline on February 28

by Kaitlyn Houseman on January 26, 2015

2014 EHR Reporting Deadline Approaching

If you are an eligible professional participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, you have until February 28, 2015 to attest to demonstrating meaningful use of the data collected during your EHR reporting period for the 2014 calendar year. If you are participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, please refer to your state’s deadlines for attestation information.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

Last Chance to Earn Medicare Meaningful Use Incentives

by Kaitlyn Houseman on October 24, 2014

2014 is the last year to begin participation in the Medicare Meaningful Use Incentive Program and earn incentives.

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Topics: CMS, Incentive Programs

New CMS Rule Allows Flexibility in Certified EHR Technology for 2014

by Kaitlyn Houseman on September 2, 2014

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule on August 29, 2014, that allows health care providers more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use for an EHR Incentive Program reporting period for 2014. By providing this flexibility, more providers will be able to participate and meet important meaningful use objectives like drug interaction and drug allergy checks, providing clinical summaries to patients, electronic prescribing, reporting on key public health data and reporting on quality measures.

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Topics: EHR, CMS, Incentive Programs

100 Hours of Meaningful Use Stage 2 Attestation: A Success Story

by Kaitlyn Houseman on August 15, 2014

Stasia Kahn, a physician in the Chicago suburbs, spent 100 hours attesting to meaningful use stage 2 requirements. Many were easy. Some were hard. She feels it was worth the work she invested in it.

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Topics: eClinicalWorks, Incentive Programs

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