The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has now finalized the proposed 2014 Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) for meaningful use (MU) rule, which gives providers some flexibility when attesting in 2014. This rule takes into account the struggle electronic health record (EHR) vendors have had in developing and rolling out 2014 certified versions and that physician offices and hospitals have had in implementation of newer versions. The ruling also pushes stage three MU out to 2017.
According to the September 29, 2014 press release by CMS, “These updates to the EHR Incentive Programs support HHS’ commitment to implementing an effective health information technology infrastructure that elevates patient-centered care, improves health outcomes, and supports the providers that care for patients.”
2014 CEHRT Flexibility
This ruling will only affect those providers who have struggled to fully implement a 2014 version of their EHR before a reporting period within the 2014 year. Full implementation means that the provider has been able to (1) update their EHR, (2) apply any fixes or patches needed for problems associated with their updated EHR, (3) develop new processes and workflows associated with the updated system, and (4) train staff on the new system. If your practice has not been able to accomplish any one of those four things you will be allowed to do one of the following in the table below based on your stage of MU attestation:
For assistance in determining your participation in the EHR Incentive program for 2014 see the decision tree 2014 CEHRT Flexibility Chart, or answer a few questions about your current progress using the CEHRT Interactive Decision Tool.
Eligible providers who are unable to fully implement the 2014-certified version of their EHR must attest to the reason(s) they could not fully implement the 2014-certified version. These reasons can be things such as loss of e-prescribe functionality within their 2014 edition. We highly recommend that you fully document the reasons in case of future audits.
If a provider has been able to fully implement the 2014 version of their EHR they must attest according to the standard MU schedule.
Please note: This rule does not change the established reporting periods. If you are attesting to MU through Medicare, your office will still need to attest during one of the four calendar quarters in 2014. Those attesting through Medicaid will need to confirm with their state Medicaid program* for the allowed reporting period (e.g. Utah Medicaid allows for attestation for any 90 day period in 2014).
Meaningful Use Timeline
For additional information visit the 2014 CEHRT Rule Quick Guide or the link to the full CMS press release: http://cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2014-Press-releases-items/2014-08-29.html
Please contact HealthInsight’s Regional Extension Center and our meaningful use experts for support in understanding how this applies to your providers or facility. 800-483-0932 | REC@HealthInsight.org
*State Medicaid EHR Incentive Program websites:
This material was prepared by HealthInsight as part of our work as the Regional Extension Center for Nevada and Utah, under grant #90RC0033/01 from the Office of the National Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services. The original article may be found at http://healthinsight.org/template-2/providers/regional-extension-center