CMS Publishes an Interim Final Rule to Revise the EHR Incentive Program

Date posted: December 13, 2012

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated requirements for participants in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs.  The rule establishes an alternative measure for the meaningful use of electronic laboratory results.  Under the alternative measure, hospitals must send electronic test results for more than 20 percent of all test orders, regardless of whether the test orders are in electronic or non-electronic formats.

CMS also outlined exemptions for hospitals that do not have sufficient clinical cases to satisfy certain clinical quality measures (CQMs) in the EHR Incentive Programs.  Specifically, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals may obtain CQM reporting exemptions if they have: (i) five or fewer inpatient discharges per quarter; or (ii) 20 or fewer discharges per year.  To qualify, hospitals must submit to CMS their discharge data as it relates to the exempted CQMs.  The CQM exemptions are available to hospitals reporting CQM data for fiscal year 2013.

The final rule is effective January 7 and CMS will accept comments until February 5.

The interim final rule on the EHR Incentive Programs is available at:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-07/pdf/2012-29607.pdf.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  “Health information Technology: Revisions to the 2014 Edition Electronic Health Record Certification Criteria; and Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Revisions to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.”  77 Fed. Reg. 236, 72985, 72987 (7 Dec. 2012).

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